Apologie againſt the
A Vindication of
; one of
thoſe two Women lately Excommunicated
by Mr Lewis Stycley, and his
Church in Exeter.
Compoſed and Publiſhed by her ſelfe, for the clearing
of her own Innocency, and the Satisfaction
of all others, who deſire to know the true
Reaſon of their ſo rigorous Proceedings
1659-05-12May:Printed in the Year, 1659. May. 12
To the Impartiall Reader.
It is a thorny path, and a myrie way that I am compelled to walke in; a way wherein there is a danger of looſing more in all likelyhood, rather then of regaining what is already loſt. A way, the walking wherein, all the comfort I have, is the hope of getting out of it at laſt, and ſo it concerns me to haſten as faſt as I can. In it I meet with the Enemies Sword, covered over with zeale for God and his glory, when as nothing of this hath appeared in the leaſt, either in the worke, or in the managing thereof: Satan is now tranſformed into an Angel of light, But my hope is, that he will in the end appear to be no other than he is, a prince of darkneſſe, a black griſely Divel, Jealouſy, and cenſorious Slander, the diſcovery of which, is the worke I am at preſent engaged in, the deſigne of this following Vindication: a worke it is no leſſe difficult and dangerous, then troubleſome, and unpleaſing, in reſpect of my ſelfe who write, the things whereof I write, and the perſons againſt whom I write.
Weakneſſe is entailed upon my Sex in generall, and for my ſelfe in particular, I am a deſpiſed worme, a woman full of naturall and ſinfullA2 full ivA2v full infirmities, the chiefeſt of Sinners, and leaſt of Saints: ſhould the Lord contend with me, I muſt lay my hand upon my mouth, I muſt acknowledge him to be juſt and righteous in ſuffering them to deale thus with me; neither ſhould I put my ſelfe to the trouble of a Vindication, but leave the clearing of my Innocency to that day which he hath appointed to judge the world in righteouſneſſe. I have cauſe to remember, and be aſhamed before the Lord, there being Iniquity even in my holy things; yet as to them, my heart doth not reproach mee, but on the contrary, I have great cauſe of rejoycing, in the uprightneſse of my heart, as to the things of God, and in my abundant love and affections unto them, my heart was enlarged in love towards them, and therefore my mouth was opened upon all occaſions for their good: though I was of a ſtamering Tongue, ſlow of ſpeech, and wanted eloquence, yet the deſire I had of their perfection, made me forward to ſpeake to them in generall, and in particular: the Lord knowes I lie not, my conſcience alſo bearing me witneſse. I mourned with them that mourned, rejoyced with them that rejoyced; when any were under temptations, or afflictions, I did labour to ſympathize with them, as if they were mine owne, and did engage for them at the Throne of Grace as for my ſelfe. And as for that which I did oppoſe among them, it was matter of mourning unto mee, when I apprehended the glory of Chriſt, and their particularcular vA3r cular intereſt, could not ſtand together, I then withſtood them, reſolving not to ſpare any that ſtood in the way of Chriſt, and the Goſpels enlargement. It is my comfort that the Lord ſeeth not as man ſeeth, man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart: not he that commendeth himſelfe, but he whom the Lord commendeth is approved. Though they have proceeded to Cenſure me, and have been full of Curſing and bitterneſſe, returning evill for good; yet I ſhall pray, Lord lay not this ſin to their charge: they know not what Spirit they are of.
Beſides my perſonall weakneſſes, the many Family-cares that lie upon me, muſt needs unfit me for ſuch a worke, and very much diſinable me to write even of thoſe things which were newly done, and freſh in my memory, much more to write of theſe, which they charged me with, being ſome of them tranſacted Seaven or Eight yeares ſince: In the laying down of which, if my memory ſhould fail me, I need not tell thee (if thou knoweſt Mr. Stucley and his Congregation) what an improvement they will make thereof, for the juſtifying of their late unchriſtian Cenſure, of whom I have cauſe to complaine, as the Church in the words of Jeremiah, Lam. 3. 53. they have cut off my life in the dungeon, and caſt a ſtone upon me, which they threaten to eternity. Surely they who have been ſo wicked as to cenſure me without any ground, will not ſtick to take hold of the leaſt occaſion for the maintaining A3 of viA3v of it, and though I have in part been cleared by the Miniſters of Exeter from their forged accuſations, who received me jointly into communion with them, yet my Adverſaries being ſo crafty, cruell, and powerfull, it will be no hard matter for them to beare downe all their gain-ſayers; whoſoever ſhall dare to contradict them, unleſſe the Lord himſelfe take them in hand, and then though they are mightier then I, yet they will find to their coſt, that he is higher then they, to him I have committed my way, in him is my truſt, therefore my confidence is, that he will bring it to paſse, ſeeing my undertaking is not ſo much for my ſelfe, as for the Lord, for his ſervants and for his people.
It cannot be (whatever Mr Stucley ſayes to the contrary, p. 46. of his anſwer to Mr Toby Allen) but that a ſlur is caſt (by their cenſuring mee) on the Miniſters and people of God, in this City, it muſt needs reflect very much on them, who have received ſuch a daughter of Belial; ſuch a lyer, &c. (as he tels the world confidently enough I am) into communion and fellowſhip with them. I looke on it as my duty, to keep the houſe of God pure, to the uttermoſt of my power, which in this caſe I cannot doe, without clearing my ſelfe from thoſe crimes layd to my charge. Had Mr Stucley dealt ingeniouſly with his Readers, in diſcovering the right and true grounds of his Excommunication (viz:) my hearing another Miniſter, whiles I was with them, and after my leaving them, my refuſing to returne, unleſſe I might have the viiA4r the liberty of communion with other of Gods people in this City, then it would have beene apparent, that their cenſuring mee was no other then the ſmiting of the watchmen, for ſeeking after my beloved, and ſo have freed mee from a great deale of trouble: But ſeeing he hath dealt ſo craftily as to omit them, and lay other things to my charge in their place, it will be worth the while a little to uncaſe him in his cōompariſons, for the undeceiving of thoſe, who (by his two Books) may be perſwaded to thinke that Mris Allen and my ſelf are indeed children of hell, and fitter for fellowſhip with damned ſpirits, then to be aſſociates of the Lords people; p. 11. True Acc: And that they on the other ſide are a ſelfe denying people, trampling the world under their feet, keeping judgement and doing righteouſneſſe at all times, having their hands filled with both the Tables, and an equall reſpect to all Gods Commandements, pag. 13.
To this end I ſhall declare,
Firſt, the ground of my joyning with them; and here I cannot but take ſhame to my ſelfe, for being ſo raſh; as becauſe of their ſpecious pretences, to forſake the ſocietie of Gods people, and joine with them, before I ſaw what worke they would make.
Secondly, the manner of our joining together, and my coming in unto them.
Thirdly, ſome remarkable paſſages, I obſerved whiles I was with them, together with my behaviour in reproofe, admonition, and admiſſion of members.A4 Fourthly, viii A4v
Fourthly, declare the grounds of the difference between us, and of my leaving them, and alſo how I left them.
Laſtly, wipe off the reproaches they have caſt upon mee, ſince my leaving them.
All which I ſhall ſet upon in the ſtrength of Chriſt, who is able to make the fooliſh things of the world to confound the wiſe, and the weake things of the world to confound the mighty: And never had a poore creature greater cauſe to flie for refuge to the hope ſet before mee in the Goſpel, to get within the vaile, and ſhrowd my ſelfe under the wings of the Almighty, till theſe calamities be overpaſt, then I have: my enemies are many, and I am ſingle; they wiſe, or rather crafty, I ſimple; they mighty, I weake; they have witneſſes (as Mr Stucley affirmes) I none; and which is worſt of all, by accuſing mee of lying, by making me a notorious lyar, they have endeavoured to ſtop the eares of the people, and take them off from believing, and giving credit to what I write: ſo that if the Lord doth not bring forth my righteouſneſse as the light, and my judgement as the noone day, I can looke for none other then to become a Prey (by my writing) unto thoſe who wait for my halting, who have (as farre as I can perceive) taken up a reſolution, (according to the Elders threatning) to make my going away coſt mee dearer, then my coming among them. Its true, I have not yet reſiſted unto blood, yet ixA5r yet I know not how ſoon I may, they have endeavoured to deprive mee of my good name, which is of more worth then riches, and the next in eſteeme to life it ſelfe. And what they will do next, had they power in their hands, the Lord knowes! it is to be feared that they who have beene ſo forward to Smite with the Tongue, will not be backward to ſtrike with the hand, when occaſion ſhall ſerve: The Papiſts, when they had put a Cap upon the head of John Huſſe, on which were painted ſeverall ugly devils, preſently after caſt him into the fire: if that which was his lot, and the lot of other ſervants of God, be mine, the will of the Lord be done: It is my reſolution to part with all, rather then returne to ſuch a backſliding, and ſelfe ſeeking people: And therefore my requeſt is unto you, the Miniſters of Chriſt in this Nation, that you would take my caſe into your ſerious conſideration, and call Mr Stucley to an account, for his diſorderly ſmiting his fellow-ſervants: That you, who have ſo openly declared againſt Separation, and charged it as a duty on ſtrayers to returne into the fold of Chriſt, would encourage others to follow our example, by defending us againſt the aſſaults and endeavours of thoſe who have dealt ſo outragiouſly with us, upon no other account then our leaving them, and returning unto you, as it will appeare in the following Narrative and Vindication, from which xA5v which I ſhall no longer detaine you, but conclude and ſhut up all with this requeſt; that you would in the examination of what I have ſaid, not looke to words or expreſſions which may not be ſo fitly placed, but to the things themſelves, and the truth of them, which was the chiefe ayme (in writing) of her, who ſtill profeſseth herſelfe to be an engaged ſervant to Jeſus Chriſt in Goſpel bonds
Wee were told in the time of the Warres, that when the Lord did turne our Captivity, there muſt be a thorough Reformation, every thing muſt be brought to the patterne in the Mount; and by ſome, that rather no Reformation, then a partiall Reformation; and in ſpeciall, the laſt warre by many was ſtiled a Sacramentall warre.
Conſiderations of this nature made me willing to engage where was moſt purity as to the Ordinances, and the great affection and good opinion I had of the New-England Churches, made mee in liking with the Congregationall way: Beſides it is well knowne, how much was Explicit Cov.Covenant ſpoken of a Church State, and the priviledges thereof: A greater effuſion of the Spirit, more purity and holineſſe, more union and communion, more liberty of Conſcience, and freedome from that yoke of being ſervants unto men, in this Church State, then could be found elſewhere: Many ſuch conſiderations made me engage in this way, which we did after this manner.Mr 2 A6v 2
Mr Stucley being at Torrington, and coming often to this City, ſpeaking very much in commendation of Mr Bartlets Church at Brideford, and the order therein, and alſo exhorting mee, and others to meet together, telling us that we did not live like Chriſtians, becauſe we had not communion one with another, and that we muſt come together, ſo that we might be in a capacity of having the ordinances; we thereupon met very often, the time was ſpent in praying, and ſpeaking one to another, what God had done for our ſoules: And to this we were enjoyned ſecrecie, the reaſon was given, becauſe we might be put upon ſuch tēemptations (if it were knowne) as wee could not reſiſt. This practiſe wee continued once or twice a weeke for a long time, M. Stucley promiſing to be at our meetings, which he accordingly performed ſometimes. At length ſome of us deſired to have the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, and becauſe of that confuſion which was among us, in that we wanted abilities for the right managing of our weekly Exerciſes, wee deſired likewiſe to have a Miniſter, M. Hanmer was pitcht upon by ſome, but oppoſed by others, in the end wee agreed to leave it to M. Bartlet of Brideford, whether M. Hanmer, or M. Stucley was the fitteſt for us, hereupon wee ſent meſſengers to M. Bartlet, who when they came to his houſe found M. Stucley himſelfe there, M. Bartlet told the meſſengers, he conceivedceived 3A7r 3 ceived M. Stucley was fitteſt for the preſent: but however hee would acquaint M. Hanmer with the buſineſſe, which he did, but M. Hanmer refuſed it. After this M. Stucley came to continue in this City, yet not quitting Torrington till the meanes was ſetled on him here. And now againe ſome of us (the greater number were very indifferent) renewed our former deſires of having the Sacrament, and ſent about it to M. Bartlet, who ſaid, we were not as yet in a capacity to have that Ordinance, that it was neceſſary we ſhould be firſt in a Goſpel order embodied: and ſaid moreover, that then wee ſhould ſee much of God, that the day of our embodying would be ſuch a day as we had never ſeene. A while after M. Bartlet came to the City with his Church officers, he himſelfe prayed and preached on Zech. 6. 12. in the morning, afterwards ſeven or eight perſons ſpake out the experiences they had of the change of their condition, with which I was much affected, and through M. Stucleys perſwaſion did the like. Afterwards there was a confeſſion of faith read, being a Copy of that which was compoſed by M. Hughes, which Copy we had not from the Author, but from another, this confeſſion of faith was ſubſcribed by every one of us: And then M. Bartlet made ſome propoſals unto us by way of quare, to this effect as I remember.I. Whether 4 A7v 4
1. Whether we would take Chriſt for our Judge, King, and Law-giver.
2. Whether wee would renounce all wayes of falſe worſhip?
3. Whether wee would worſhip God in all his Ordinances?
4. Whether we would give up our ſelves to the Lord, and one to another, and would engage our ſelves in all duties of Chriſtianity each unto other?
5. Whether wee would hold communion with other Churches?
6. Whether wee would relieve the Saints that were in Communion, according to our abilitie?
7. Whether we would not reſt in the light that we had received, but would ſtudy to know the mind of God, and live up unto it?
This is the ſubſtance of our engagement, as I remember. At this time and ſomewhile after, there was never a woman of the Church but my ſelfe, and yet at every meeting about Church affaires Maſter Stucley would ſend for mee, and when I pleaded for my abſence (at ſuch times) from the meetings, that of the Apoſtle, Let your women keep ſilence in the Church, for it is not permitted unto them to ſpeake; he replyed, he would do nothing without the conſent of the whole. And when I was preſent, he himſelfe would conſtraine me to ſpeak my opinion of things propoſed.Wee 5 A8r 5
We were (as I ſaid formerly) very deſirous of the Sacrament, in order to which, our firſt work was to get a Miniſter that might adminiſter it.
Although Maſter Stucley was with us, yet the people of Torrington claimed an engagement from him, that Towne having been viſited with the plague, and deprived of their Mininiſters maintenance. Maſter Stucley (who was their Miniſter) for thoſe reaſons left them; but with a promiſe of returning ſo ſoon as the Lord ſhould remove his hand, and ſufficient maintenance for a Miniſter ſhould be procured, both which being at this time effected, we could not chuſe him to be an Officer, untill he were by them freed from his engagement: in order hereunto much meanes was uſed, Maſter Bartlet was imployed to perſwade them unto it; but they with one conſent refuſed it, ſaying, that ſeeing he had promiſed to returne, they expected that he ſhould keep promiſe with them.
Hereupon we wrote for counſell to ſome of the Congregationall Churches in London, Maſter Feake, and Maſter Harriſon (in their anſwers to our Letters) affirmed that Maſter Stucley was bound in conſcience to goe unto Torrington: that it would be diſhonourable to the Goſpel to leave them, unleſſe he could get their conſent for his diſmiſſion. At length Maſter Stucley himſelfe accompanied with two or three of the Church rode thither, where having made 6A8v 6 made an agreement with the people, thoſe that rode with him were called in to conſent therunto, which they accordingly did.
At their returne Maſter Stucley required each one of us to conſent likewiſe unto the agreement they made at Torrington, without declaring what it was; which being done by all the men, he deſired the ſiſters (there being other women now added to the Church) to do the like, which my ſelfe and ſome others refuſed, reſolving that we would not act by an implicite faith. Maſter Stucley thereupon ſaid, that what was done was a Church act, becauſe they who went with him conſented thereunto (viz.) that we were engaged to get a Miniſter for the people of Torrington. Accordingly there was one procured, who continued with them for a time.
This Serpentine ſubtilty of his I tooke ſpeciall notice of, and did for it reprove him to his face: we were in the meane time (and ſo continued for ſome yeares) in a bewildred condition, without either of the Sacraments, ſome not having their children baptized in a long time, others did procure ſome Congregationall Miniſter to do it. And as for the Lords Supper, they who would partake of it; rode to other places in the Country: moſt of the people were very indifferent whether we had the Ordinances or no, ſeeking themſelves, getting places and offices, deſigning how they might build their 7B1r 7 their owne houſes: and as for Maſter Stucley himſelfe, he was ſo diſtracted with Law-ſuits, Intangled with the world and mony engagements, as that he was ſeldome with us at our faſts and times of prayer.
Hence I began to ſuſpect, that they intended nothing but ſeparation, and ſetting up of themſelves and their owne intereſts and deſignes, which did exceedingly trouble mee.
Upon our private faſt dayes, when wee had done praying, it was our cuſtome (for the help of thoſe that were to pray) to ſpend a little time in Conference, and at ſuch times did I take occaſion to ſpeak of the diſorders among us, & told thēem plainly, that I feard we did ſeparate frōom others more godly then our ſelves, as Cain, who went out from the preſence of the Lord to build citties; that there was little regard had to what we at firſt pretended, the ſetting up of pure ordinances; I often told them that I never heard or read in Scripture, or other hiſtory, that the Lord did make uſe of a people of ſuch an earthly, luke-warme, and indifferent ſpirit, in any publique worke of reformation; that it was not a party, or confederacy that I looked after, but to have the Goſpel more diſcovered in greater light and beauty; and the ordinances to be enjoyed in greater purity: the beauty of Gods ornament to be ſet in Majeſtie, and more purity and ſelfe-deniall to appeare in us, who B had 8B1v 8 had ſeparated from all mixtures.
Becauſe I conceive that purity lay onely in this way, therefore was I very forward and zealous in it, hoping to leave poſterity the ordinances pure, and the name of God glorious in the brightneſſe of the Goſpel: for this cauſe did I deale ſo plainly with them; with which plaine and faithfull dealing, they pretended many times to be much affected, and thereupon would do ſomething more in order to Religion, then they had formerly.
Maſter Stucley (as I ſaid before) being troubled about the things of this world, left us to our ſelves very often in our meetings: ſo that it is not to be wondred at, if in them there were much ſtrange fire, both in prayer and expoſition of the Scriptures, they being meere Novices, and in the entrance of Chriſtianity, and many of them ſcarce well principled, I feared that the name of God was often taken in vain in prayer, ſure I am that much ignorance, pride, and ſelfe confidence, and a Diotrephes ſpirit ſtrongly working, appeared in many of them.
N. E. One of them affirmed, that there was no iniquity of the holy things &c. this being delivered without any caution when the meeting was publique, I told him of it in private the ſame day.
Owen. Another who had formerly beene an Anabaptiſt, then a Seeker, next (as I was informed) a9B2r9 a Papiſt, or little better, very much addicted to the ſtudy of their bookes, the moſt conviction that he had (as was reported) was by Jonas Ware, ſince a Roman Catholique, who went to Rome, and then turning to prelacy, and the booke of Common-prayer, and afterward an Independent, the ſame perſon was very forward at our meetings, and did often put forth himſelfe in the duty of prayer, which was a great trouble to mee to heare how the name of God was taken in vaine by him, inſomuch as that I earneſtly deſired Maſter Stucley to hinder him from engaging in that duty, till he underſtood the nature of it better.
I acquainted him likewiſe of other diſorders and miſcarriages very frequent at our meetings, declaring how much I was troubled at them; for redreſſe of which, I intreated him to be conſtantly with us. But he endeavoured to quiet me with this, that they were honeſt, though weak, and further perſwaded me to be conſtant at the meetings, to be faithfull unto them, in minding them of what was amiſſe. I told him it was more fit for me to be in private meditation, to be gathering rather then ſcattering: but he replyed, that the time was now not to be Cloſet-Profeſſors, but to ſay, come, let us go up to the houſe of the Lord, to ſeek the Lord together, with our faces Zion-ward. And though I pleaded my Sex, my naturall B2 and 10B2v 10 and ſinfull infirmities, which made me unfit to ſpeak unto others, yet he preſſed it on me as my duty. And when there was any Jarring between them and my ſelfe, he deſired me not to be troubled, though I met with oppoſition, that one was of a Souldierly ſpirit, another of a dull Spirit, that it was meere Envy, promiſing to ſpeak with them about it himſelfe. Yea when I reſolved to be ſilent at ſome meetings, Mr. Stucley himſelfe would ſingle me out, and even conſtraine me to ſpeak.
As concerning my Carriage at the Admiſſion of members, I ſhall give a briefe account of it as followeth.
They who deſired admiſſion into the Society, were ſometimes deſired in a private meeting to ſpeak what experience they had of the worke of grace upon their Soules: after which we were every one of us both men and women to declare our thoughts of what was ſpoken; it being laid down as a ground, that we muſt have an account of a change from a naturall and legall eſtate, into an eſtate of grace and believing, of thoſe whom we admitted into communion with us. I among the reſt did according to my weak meaſure declare my ſelfe againſt that which I thought would not ſtand for grace. I was ſo far from delighting in this work, as that it was a trouble to me, an Imployment from which I would willingly have been 11B3r 11 been freed: I conceived it more needfull for my ſelfe to ſtudy the worrd, and compare my own heart with the rule, then to be ſo taken up about the condition of others. But this was our principle, we were to keep the houſe of God pure, we were ſet as Porters at the door, it was our duty, we were not to be wanting at ſuch times, yea it was our liberty, that we, who were to have communion with thoſe who came to be admitted, ſhould give in our aſſent, or diſſent in reference to their admiſſion. I did therefore at ſuch times declare my thoughts aſ well as the reſt, but left the determination to themſelves, as it appeares in Ganicle, who was admitted, though I was at the firſt againſt his admiſſion. I mention him, becauſe he was brought by Mr. Eveleigh, as an Inſtance of my cenſoriouſneſſe. I was blamed for diſliking him, whom they ſaid was one of the moſt eminent among them, and yet it was not long after, before he diſcovered himſelfe, by Renouncing the principles of Chriſtianity, and turning Quaker. He in ſpeaking out his Experiences pretended unto much Joy and raviſhment of Spirit, but (the Lord knowes) when he ſpake of ſuch enjoyments, he ſpake as a ſtranger that never intermedled with this Joy, never declaring any powerfull effect thereof, but only that which was, only but a Balaams wiſh. I the rather inſtance in B3 him, 12B3v 12 him, becauſe he was the firſt that kindled the fire of Contention, which then brake out in that manner, as it is not quenched to this day; here began the Quarrell on their part. When I was called by the Elder to give in my thoughts concerning a Perſon propoſed, he moſt diſorderly intercepted me, for which there was not the leaſt admonition given him: but not long after his folly was made manifeſt, by his Caſting off the very forme of godlineſſe. This is one and the Cheife one of thoſe perſons whom I diſliked, though approved of by the Church. If I be contentious for oppoſing ſuch a one, let me be contentious ſtill; though none among them will witneſſe for me, yet he doth, he ſtands to this day as a ſad witneſſe between me and them, whether I were contentious in my oppoſitions, or they infallible in their determinations. Beſides, as for ſome who continue among them, if you look for diſtinguiſhing Characters, they are ſcarcely viſible, much leſſe eaſy to be diſcerned.
Thus I did from time to time, whilſt we were without Officers and Ordinances, partly through the great deſire I had to promote the worke of Reformation among us, partly through Mr Stucley’s inſtigation reprove them for their indifferency of Spirit, ſtir them up to that which I conceived was their duty, for which I alwaies gave them my grounds and reaſons 13B4r 13 reaſons. But after the officers were choſen, I never medled (to my remembrance) with Church affaires, nor ſpake in the meetings, after I heard by Mr. Stucley my ſpeaking was diſreliſht; unleſſe a Queſtion was propoſed, and I was deſired to give my Anſwer unto it.
Not long after, the Officers were choſen, I being at Mr. Stucley’s houſe, deſired him to reſolve me concerning a true Church, he then confeſſed that the Churches of New England did acknowledge the Churches of old England, from whence we had ſeparated, to be true Churches: I told him thereupon that we could not juſtifie our Separation. At length we falling into diſcourſe of other things, he ſaid my ſpeaking was diſreliſht by ſome; I anſwered, that I did not like it my ſelfe, and therefore would be from thenceforth ſilent, though I looked on it as my duty formerly, he told me no, he would have me ſpeak, but it muſt be by a Brother; for a ſtander by may ſee more then he that plaies the game, promiſing likewiſe if I did ſpeak by him, to deliver my words in the ſame manner as I ſpake them.
After this it pleaſed the Lord to exerciſe me with a ſmarting affliction, the death of a dear child; the ſuddenneſſe of the ſtroke, and ſome other circumſtances made it a very melting affliction. When my Bowels were yerningning 14B4v 14 ning towards my child, I called to remembrance the Lords tender bowels towards his children, for whom he had given his only Son; when I conſidered the breach that the Lord had made in my family, I beheld how terrible it was to make a breach of his family. Then the worke I was ingaged in, this Sin of Separation, appeared nakedly unto me to be no other then a wounding of Chriſts body, which is his Church, the Church which he hath purchaſed with his own blood: I then looked on Separation to be a dividing of Chriſt. Truly I beheld it with terror, this ſin of wounding of Chriſt it made a wound in my ſoule, which was kept open in a terrible manner, the Lord bringing to my remembrance his Juſtice and ſeverity, and wrath revealed from heaven on families and nations, yea on his own people, ever ſince the beginning of the world: as alſo his Judgments which are in the earth to this day, from Geneſis to the Revelation was brought to my remembrance, and kept hard upon me. Having theſe Impreſſions on my Spirit, I was almoſt overwhelmed, and in mine own apprehenſion upon the Borders of Hell, where the Lord made me to behold the Execution of his wrath upon ſinners: I could then have told what hel was, I felt the flaſhings of helfire in my ſoule, the wrath of God that lay hard upon me, the effects whereof were very terrible, 15B5r 15 terrible, inſomuch as I was even ſwallowed up, only the Lord was pleaſed to keep me following after him, reſolving to lie at his feet, though he ſhould ſpurne me to hell. Having thus been under a ſentence of death with the very terrors of hell in my ſoule, providence ſo ordering it, I came (by following the people) where Mr. Ford preached. I no ſooner came into the Congregation, but I was ſo exceedingly troubled, as that I vented my ſelfe in Paſſionate teares; fearing leſt I might be unfit to hear, but in prayer recovered my ſelfe. His text was in John 16: laſt. Be of good cheere, I have overcome the world. He inſtanced in all the enemies of the new creature, the World, the God of this world, Sin, Death, and Hell: the Lord ſetting it home every ſentence was to me as the rivetting of the nailes, ſet on by the great maſter of Aſſemblies, and in prayer afterward (the Lord ſo providing) thoſe very particulars which were the burden of my ſoule, were put up unto God. I went out of the congregation with another frame of ſpirit then when I came in, bleſſing the Lord for giving his Son Jeſus Chriſt, who hath loved us, and waſhed us from our ſins in his own blood, and hath made us Kings and Prieſts unto God. But afterwards I began to queſtion whether I had not taken that, which did not belong unto me, Chriſt then 16B5v 16 then ſpeaking comfort to his diſciples in reference to that hardſhip they were to meet with in the world; among the reſt of their ſufferings this was one, that they ſhould be put out of the Synagogues, yea the time would come that whoſoever killed them, would think he did God good ſervice, which things Chriſt told them that they might not be offended: But yet the Sermon being in generall of all the Enemies of the new Creature, I could not put it off. Furthermore the appearance of God was ſo remarkable in the change of my ſpirit, as that I could not but take it home, that Sins of the right hand and left hand, and ſeparation alſo, and death and hell ſhould be caſt into the lake that burneth with fire and brimſtone, that in the meane time Chriſt hath overcome the world, the Prince of this world is judged, condemned already, only the execution is deferred till the time appointed by the father. And as for ſufferings, that we muſt look for them, having ſuch proviſion ſo remarkably laid in before, I cannot but take notice of it at preſent. But then I could not conceive how it was likely for me to ſuffer in that kind, there being then ſo much love pretended. But now the time is come, and therefore I mention it: Chriſt ſaieth, theſe things have I ſpoken unto you, that when the time ſhall come, you may remember that I told you of them. Now I can make 17B6r 17 make application of all the Sermon which is food for my faith to live upon, although I ſuffer as an evill doer. I mention it with admiration, that the Lord even then when he ſpake peace unto me after my being convinced of Separation, ſhould lay alſo proviſion againſt Excommunication.
But now after my conviction of Separation, it troubled me very much, becauſe I knew not how to avoid it: my fear was leſt I ſhould be conſtrained to live in it, had I preſently come off, I ſhould have made a breach there. They pretended ſo much love unto me, as I knew not which way to break this bond, which the Apoſtle calls the bond of perfectneſſe; wherefore I reſolved to wait upon the Lord, for the opening a way unto me, which he did afterwards in manner following.
The Lord was making ſuch abundant Proviſion for me in Mr. Ford’s miniſtry, I did conſtantly attend thereon, hearing him once a Lords day for the moſt part, unleſſe it were when we had the Sacrament of the Lords Supper adminiſtred among us. This was my practice ever ſince he came to this City, of which Mr. Stucley took no great notice before he was in office; but afterward both he and the people were diſpleaſed with me for it, on which began the quarrell on my part between us. Mr. Stoneham being a ſtranger was employed to 18B6v 18 to take me off from this practice, who at firſt pretended that it did very much trouble him, but ſince he hath told me that he wiſhed that he had never been put upon it.
He ſent a Meſſenger unto me to perſwade me to leave Mr. Ford’s miniſtry: I then ſhewed my grounds for that practice, what proviſion I found there, and how the Lord had made that miniſtry effectuall unto me, and withall that when I came among them, I took up a reſolution to attend upon that miniſtry.
The ſame day in a publique meeting they accuſed me firſt of Contention, and ſecondly for my hearing Mr. Ford, which (as the Elder ſaid) the Church neither could nor would bear, however they would not medle with it for that time.
As to the Article of Contention I appealed to the Church, and charged them to be faithfull as they would anſwer it another day, in making it known whether they had found me Contentious.
Upon which, I having withdrawn my ſelfe, they entred into a debate about it, every one declaring their thoughts of me: the reſult of which debate was this.
That they neither could nor would charge me with contention for a world, but did fear that through a mixture of Corruption it might tend to contention. This buſineſſe was ended three 19B7r 19 three daies after, they declaring that they were ſatisfied.
But as to the other Article the Elder told me the very next day, when I preſſed him to declare whether he knew of any thing againſt mee, he told mee that there was nothing elſe in the world but my hearing Maſter Forde, and then deſired me to leave off that practiſe; which I did ſometimes to content them, but the little peace that I found in it, made me quickly to take it up againe.
After this meſſengers were ſent unto me ſeverall times from the Church, to informe me how my practice was diſliked by ſome, to whom I gave my reaſons for it as formerly, and told them farther, that I was engaged to ſtudy the mind of Chriſt; and becauſe of their diſ-ſatisfaction, to ſeeke the Lord in this thing, I promiſed likewiſe to ſubmit my ſelfe to the Officers, ſo as to be accountable to them of my hearing Mr Forde. I informed them alſo, how the Lord had made uſe of that Miniſtry for my good in theſe times of diſtraction, I gave thēem thanks for the great love, & good will they ſeemed to bear towards me, but withall deſired thēem not to be offended if I made uſe of my Chriſtian liberty till I was better informed, and told them where the Carkaſſe is, there will the Eagles reſort.
Maſter Stucley alſo ſent me two long letters, wherein he endeavored to perſwade me to have dependance 20B7v 20 dependance only on their miniſtry without hearing any other.
But when they ſaw that I could not be taken off from this practice, they began to quarrell with me, telling me that I was contentious, that it was heighth of ſpirit, and ſo by little and little eſtranged themſelves. But the Word was a light unto me, and ſo evident, as if it had been appointed on purpoſe for direction, they themſelves being judges, inſomuch as ſome of them asked me whether I did not uſe to viſit Mr. Ford.
As for Mr. Stoneham he declared in his publique miniſtry oftentimes, That it was out of the way of order to hear any other miniſter, when our own officers preached, that no bleſſing was to be expected in ſuch a way, and if ſo be there were any profit received, it was a deluſion, a temptation, yea a judgment of God upon ſuch a ſoule; it was a going out of the boſome of Chriſt into the boſome of ſtrangers; Rebellion againſt Chriſt, and that ſuch muſt be dealt with as Traytors and Rebells.
At length a faſt, a day of humiliation was appointed for the diſorderly walking of ſome, and that with obſtinacy in the generall.
Hereupon I went unto Mr. Stoneham to know for what end this faſt was intended, whether it was in reference to my ſelfe; if ſo, I ſhould remove the occaſion, reſolving with my 21B8r 21 my ſelfe, if the liberty of hearing other miniſters were denied me, to leave them. But he and Mr. Stucley whom I found with him, in ſtead of informing me fell into a diſpute about true Churches, a ſubject that I was unskilfull in, and he by reaſon of his deafneſſe unfit to treat of, and whithall let fall ſome ſtrange Expreſſions concerning the people of God. I told him that I did delight in the image of God where ever I found it, in thoſe that were the Excellent of the Earth, that did excell in virtue: he then endeavoured to perſwade me that I was to have my affections tyed up to thoſe of their Society, alleadging that I might aſwell delight in another man that was not my huſband, becauſe the Image of God ſhined more in him then in my husbāand. I being troubled at this groſſe diſcourſe told him that thoſe relations were of a different nature, and that I thought I did owe more duty where God in his Providence had caſt me, and where I had the opportunity and ability to performe it, then I was engaged unto or could diſcharge unto others, where I had no ſuch opportunities: yet I did not look upon it as that which could cut off my affections from the people of God, from thoſe who had the Image of God renewed in them. Something alſo was ſpoken of Church ordinances, Mr. Stucley ſaid the preaching of the word was not a Church ordinance, becauſecauſe 22B8v 22 cauſe that it might be preached by one that was not a Church officer, and it might be uſed out of a Church, even in a family. For my own part I knew not how to underſtand theſe diſtinctions, but accounted them ſtrange doctrines.
Mr. Stucley ſome dayes after in a letter taxed me for acknowledging an aſſembly of people to be a Church meeting, and the wedneſday meeting to be a Church meeting which formerly I lookt upon as Babylon. To which I returned Anſwer by letter, that I accounted thoſe from whom we did ſeparate a true Church, as he had told me the New England miniſters did; that I lookt upon the wedneſdaies meeting to be a Church meeting, the Miniſters as ambaſſadors of Chriſt, the preaching of the word a Church ordinance, that which Chriſt hath appointed for the gathering in, building up, and edifying of his body, which is the Church, that I did put no difference between hearing there and among our ſelves in point of efficacy, and that my ſeparation from them was not in doctrine and worſhip, but in diſcipline. Much I wrote likewiſe for the removing of ſome prejudices, complaining how I was preached againſt, and prayed againſt; informing him likewiſe that I was neither able to live in the fire of contention, nor ſit down under a miniſtry that I could not profit by, and therefore 23C1r 23 therfore ſhould willingly withdrawe from them, I alſo deſired him that whileſt wee contended for pure ordinances we ſhould not ſuffer the Goſpell to be corrupted, and that I feared we did not walke up to our owne principles, and I likewiſe deſired direction from him.
When the day appointed for the faſt was come, I went to the meeting not knowing for what it was intended, The practice of the hearing of other miniſters was then made to be as the Sin of Korah and Dathan And betweene the ſeverall prayers Mr Stonehāam propounded ſomewhat by way of queſtion, how to know an heriticke: one diſcovery was when perſons went againſt their owne principles as thoſe did, who although they have given up themſelves on unto another ſhall notwithſtanding ſay they delight in the Image of God where ever they finde it, in the Excellent ones of the earth, which was contrary to their principles and deſtructive to the very fundementalls of the Church.
This being contrary in my apprehenſion to that of the Apoſtle. 2 Col, where he tels us. That he had greate conflict. not for them only which he knew, But alſo for as many (of the Saints) as had not ſeene his face in the fleſh, And in Chap: 1. 4. where he commends them for their love to all the Saints, I did in the concluſion tell ſome of thēem privately, There was that deliver’d which could not be prov’d by the word.C The 24 C1v 24
The Sacrament of the Lords Supper had beene about this time omitted for neer halfe a yeare, ſure I am it was very long, I enquired of ſome the reaſon thereof, who told me becauſe I could not ſit downe with Maſter Stoneham’s miniſtry, whereupon I went to Maſter Stoneham to know the reaſon why the Sacrament was kept from us, at the firſt he gave me no anſwer, but when I was earneſt with him to give me ſatisfaction, he ſaid, that he did not know what uſe I would make of it: I then told him, hee looked upon me as under a temptation, when I was in an ordinance of Jeſus Chriſt; but I had cauſe to feare that he was under a temptation, in neglecting ſuch an ordinance of Jeſus Chriſt, which he had a command often to make uſe of; and then intreated him that if he thought me unworthy to partake of it, that I onely might be kept off, that the ordinance might not (upon that account) be laid aſide: to this he replied, that the prayers they had put up, would be anſwered, which was all the ſatisfaction I could get from him at that time: A weeke after I preſſed him againe for the Sacrament, he then told me, that if I would not ſit downe under his miniſtry he would be no officer unto mee, and for a cloſe told mee, there was one who had ſomewhat againſt mee: whereupon the ſame day I went to Maſter Stucley to know what it was that ſome body had againſt mee, what the evill was 25C2r 25 was they could charge me with, I told him that it was my deſire and endeavour to keep a good conſcience void of offence both towards God and towards men: that if there were any evill with which they could charge mee, upon information what it was, I would not continue in the practice thereof, and therefore deſired him to tell mee what it was, that one had againſt mee: to which Maſter Stoneham, then being at Maſter Stucleys houſe, anſwered, that I muſt firſt reſolve to ſit down under their miniſtry, and then they would conferre about that: I replyed that I did not ſeparate, but in diſtinguiſhing ordinances, unto which this anſwer was returned, that there was as much reaſon for a woman to goe after another man, becauſe of fruitfulneſſe, as to make uſe of another Miniſtry becauſe of more benefit. At which groſſe diſcovery of themſelves I reſolved with my ſelfe to take my leave of them: Maſter Stucley at my going forth came with mee to the doore, and then deſired me to deny my ſelfe-holineſſe for God, and look for a reward in heaven: This was the laſt time that ever I was in his houſe.
After this two or three times I went to Mr. Eveleigh the Elder, to know what it was they had againſt me; but I could never ſpeak with him, untill I met him at the meeting, where I deſired to ſpeak with him, and went to his houſe, and deſired him to informe me, what C2 they 26C2v 26 they had to Charge mee with, who inſteed of anſwering directly to my queſtion ſayd, there would bee a Sacrament the next Lords day, which (as I remember) was putt of, and that ſome body did deſire mee to forbeare, my Anſwer was, that I ſhould not give offence to any; he then told mee what a doe they had to pleaſe mee, inſtancing in his wife, dead and buried long before.
This being all I could learne of him, I went about to ſeverall perſons (att their houſes) to know what it was that they had againſt mee, but they told mee there was nothinge but my goeing to heare others, then I asked whether the Church had any thinge againſt mee, they did aſſure mee the Church had nothing againſt mee, Having done this, I beheld the doore ſtanding ſo wide open, as that I might fairely take my leave, which yet I did not, before I had for a while ſeriouſly and ſadly conſidered of theſe following particulars.
1. The ſtrangeneſſe of their opinions and practiſes in reference to the ordinances of Jeſus Chriſt: Preaching was affirmed to be no Church Ordinance, as alſo Catechizing.
The ordinance of Faſting exceedingly perverted, in which they walked in the wayes of Ahab, and ſtatutes of Omry, Making it like Iſmaels weeping to fall on poore ſoules, when they go to worſhip the Lord, like the tumultuousous 27C3r 27 ous concourſe of people, Act. 19. 32. by concealing the perticular occaſions and ends of their faſtings, faſting rather for ſtrife and debate, then to keepe the unity of the ſpirit in the bond of peace with Gods people.
The Sacrament of the Lords Supper was for a long time detained, not only from my ſelfe in particular without giving any reaſon, but from the whole Congregation in generall, new, and unheard of, and unſcripturall qualifications were required of thoſe who would pertake thereof: They muſt ſubſcribe and engage not to heare any, but their owne Officers at ſuch times as the Officers did preach, and muſt believe that a greater bleſſing was to be expected on their Miniſtry, then on the Miniſtry of others, when (as the Apoſtle ſaith) He that planteth, and he that watereth are all one, I Cor. 3.7,8. To come out from among them upon this account I was very much encouraged by Maſter Burroughs, who in his heart diviſions, p. 174. ſayeth, If Governors enjoyne any thing uppon the Church, or any member thereof that is Sin, or if they ſhall mingle Evill in the Publique worſhip, ſo that there can be noe Joyning with their worſhip, but there muſt be Joyning likewiſe with their Sin: In this caſe they are the Schiſmaticks, not thoſe who withdrawe from them.
Yea farther If they impoſe that, which is not neceſſary though in it ſelfe not ſinful, and will not C3 beare 28C3v 28 beare with the weaknes of ſuch as thinke it Evill: If upon that, they are forced to withdrawe, in this the governors are the Schiſmaticks; the cauſe of the Rent is in them, they ought in ſuch things to beare with the weakneſſes of their brethren, and not imperiouſly require of them thoſe things of which there is no neceſsity, if ſuch things be Sinne to their Brethrens conſciences, if they will ſtand upon it to enjoyne them, they lay a neceſsity on them to withdraw. God will not lay the Indictment of Schiſme thus; ſuch a one departed from the Communion of ſuch a church, becauſe he would not doe what was lawfull to be done, But thus,――you impoſed that upon your brother, which there was no neceſsity of, and would not forbeare him in what I would have you to forbeare him, but cauſed him by your imperiouſneſſe, and ſtifneſſe to depart from communion with you. It’s true, God ſaith, the things might have been done, but it was not neceſſary, it was out of conſcience to me that they forbore, the weakneſſe is theirs; but the Schiſme is yours.
2. From the ordinances I turned my thoughts unto the Churches, both that from which I had ſeparated, as alſo that whereof I was then a member, as to the Churches of England, I conſidered that they were right in reſpect of Doctrine and worſhip; and not onely ſo, but that they were united likewiſe by an implicit covenant, which upon enquiry that they of New- 29C4r 29 New-England make to be the ſame for ſubſtance with that which is explicit, contrarie to what I believed at the firſt (viz.) That an Explicit Covenant was neceſſary to the Conſtituting of a viſible Church, and therefore upon this account, there was no reaſon to ſeparate from them: I conſidered that the work of this generation was not the Conſtituting, but the reforming of Churches, which I conceived ſeparation did hinder. It made my heart bleed within me to think that I ſhould have a hand in the hindering of Reformation, for which ſo much precious blood had been ſpilt in the late Warre.
As to the Church whereof I was then a member, I feared what it would come to in the end, there being in ſo ſhort a time, ſuch a viſible difference between out firſt Ingagements, and the preſent ſtate thereof. At the firſt, liberty of conſcience and freedome from the Intolerable yoke of being Servants unto men was pretended; But now we were in greater bondage then ever, all liberty of diſſenting from them being denyed. Our officers were ſwayed by ſuch a Prelaticall Spirit, as that every one muſt reſt ſatisfied with their determinations, otherwiſe it would be lookt upon as a non-conformity, contention, and the Lords Supper forthwith denyed them.C4 At 30 C4v 30
At the firſt we were not to reſt in the light we had allready received, but engaged to ſtudy the minde and will of God, and live up unto it, to have Chriſt for our Judge, our Lawgiver and King; but now the voice of the Church (two or three of them) carries all before it, he that did not hearken unto this, he that was not obedient unto this, muſt be preſently accounted contentious, cenſorious, a Rebell againſt Jeſus Chriſt, and dealt withall as ſuch. When I demanded, whether that which they ſaid to be the voice of the Church, were the voice of Chriſt?
Anſwer was returned, that the voice of the Church, was the voice of Chriſt.
If this be true, then we muſt believe as the Church believes, we muſt believe that the Church cannot erre, contrary to that in Rev. 3. where we read that the Church of Laodicea ſaid one thing, and Chriſt another, where every one is commanded to heare what the ſpirit ſaith unto the Churches.
And as for the people; the generalitie of them I plainly perceived that they made it their buſineſſe to ſtudy conformity, without the leaſt heeding what they had formerly engaged, or enquiring what, for the time to come this might grow unto; Iſacher-like they bowed their ſhoulders to beare, and became Servants unto whatſoever tribute was impoſed.In 31 C5r 31
In the laſt place I took a briefe view of their behaviour abroad in the world—where they were ſtriving who ſhould be foremoſt in getting of offices and places of profit; ſo imployed they were in enriching themſelves, and building their own houſes; as that they little minded the houſe of God. And as for Mr Stucley, he was ſo entangled with the world as that it took up a great part of his time every week, which ſhould have been ſpent in the worke of the miniſtry, contrary to that of the Apoſtle, 2 Tim. 2.4. So troubled he was about many things, as that he very much neglected that one thing needfull, the feeding of the flock,――He ſeemed to me to be led captive by ambition and covetouſneſſe, which made him more crafty and politick then could (in my Judgment) ſtand with the Simplicity of the Goſpell: So that I queſtioned whether or no, he had not applied himſelfe to the ſtudie of wiſedome, onely for her left hand bleſſings of riches and honor.
I cald to mind his ſubtilty in the manageing of many buſieneſſes, his ſetting Mr Stonham a worke about that which he durſt not appeare in himſelfe; but eſpecially his trecherouſneſſe and deceitfull dealing in uſeing means for the opening reading and Coppying of poſtletters; the letters of the chiefe mageſtrate of this Citty, this I was enformed of by one of their members, and ſince hath been confirmed by others; And 32C5v 32 And his appointing a day of thankſgiving for the Succesfulneſſe of his deſignes furthered by ſuch unlawfull meanes; whether this were not a bringing of Thankſgiving with leaven, I leave it to others to Judge. I could not but withdraw from that thankſgiving: I conſidered with my ſelfe, how unlike it was that he ſhould be a faithfull miniſter of Chriſt, who dealt ſo unfaithfully with men, and therefore that it could not be ſafe for me to continue any longer under his paſtorall charge; eſpecially ſeeing I could not be faithfull to them, becauſe of their crafty ſeeking advantages to enſnare: All the remedy I had left was to withdrawe from them.
Thus being convinced of Separation and the evill thereof, and having pondred a while of their Unchriſtian or rather Antichriſtian practiſes, I went on the 1654-03-2424 of March 1654. to Mr Eveleigh the Elder, whom I deſired to acquaint the Church, that I ſhould continue no longer with them, for ſeverall reaſons which I then gave him; And that I would willingly (if they deſired it) give them farther Satisfaction; he replyed that there was nothing but would be made up: I know that very well, ſaid I, but for ſeverall reaſons I am reſolved to withdraw from your ſociety.
About foureteen daies after, (being ſent for) I went to their meeting according to my promiſe,miſe, 33C6r 33 miſe, ſuppoſing they would require an account of my leaving of them; but Mr Stucley altogether waved that, and inſteed thereof having queſtioned me a little concerning Mr Stoneham, demanded how long I had uſed to heare Mr Ford; I anſwered a year at the leaſt, the truth of which aſſertion when he ſeemed to queſtion, I added farther that my writing books would make it appeare that I had heard him much longer.
Then he asked me concerning Mris Eveleigh, whether I did not ſpeak againſt her?
To this I returned Anſwer; (1) by asking him whether he did not ſay to Mr Eveleigh in his own houſe within a few daies after that ſhe was admitted, that I was ſo farre from ſpeaking againſt her, as that I had ſpoken for her, and therefore would cleare me.
To this he anſwered never a word, but was ſilent (1ly) by acknowledging that I had Spoken againſt her, but not to have her kept off, as Mr Eveleigh had charged me.
Why did you then Speake againſt her, ſaid Mr Stucley?
I anſwered becauſe ſhe had gone contrary to the law of Charity, in that ſhe did partake of the ordinance of the lords Supper with the Preſbyterians, which we did not: If ſhe looked on this as her duty, ſhe could not but looke on the neglect thereof, as our Sin, and ſo ſhe walked uncharitably: ſhe being in Societie with us, and not admoniſhing 34C6v 34 admoniſhing us of our neglect; in ſuffering Sin uppon us.
To this Mr Stucley replyed, what that lawe of Charitie was (for his part) he knew not, he knew noe ſuch law, Mr Roles ſaid It was a word haſtily ſpoken, and ſo it might be taken.
After this Mr. Stucley asked me, how I could go amon the Presbyterians.
To this I anſwered, that I looked on it as my dutie to wait upon God amongſt a profeſſing, reforming people.
And then he told me, how that in my letter unto him, I had acknowledged that for a true Church, which I had formerly called Babylon.
To this I anſwered, that I had called to mind ſo much as I could againſt my ſelfe, as to that particular of Babylon, and ſo far as I could remember any ſuch expreſſions, I did acknowledge my evill therein, for which I had cauſe to be humbled: aund withall that I did not ſeparate as from Babylon; that I looked upon them from whom we ſeparated as true Churches in doctrine and worſhip, that I did not ſeparate from either of theſe, but only from their diſcipline: that the chiefe ground of my ſeparation was a Miſtake, I ſuppoſing that a Church rightly conſtituted muſt be joined together by an Explicite Covenant, which I found to be otherwiſe now.
Iwas likewiſe queſtioned for oppoſing in a 35C7r 35 a publique meeting Mr. Stucley, as to his being Paſtor at that time, when they choſe him to be the Paſtor, and that in ſuch a Contentious manner, as to cauſe an hower and halfe debate in the meeting. Mr. Whitehorne ſent them a paper, wherein he profered to affirme with oath this charge.
Which being denied by me, becauſe I knew I was not preſent at the meeting at that time; Mr. Role and Mr. Slade ſaid they did believe that Mr. Whithorne was miſtaken (or to that effect) and Mr. Sprague expreſſely affirmed, that it was otherwiſe then Mr. Whithorne had written, for (ſaid he) we did agree to conceale that meeting from her, leſt ſhe ſhould oppoſe him.
I asked Mr. Roles and Mr. Slade where ever they knew me oppoſe Mr. Stucley in a publique meeting? They ſaid no, they never knew it.
Thus after they had ſpent ſome time in ſuch Cavills, Mr. Stucley ſaid to me, you are accuſed of a ſlip of your Tongue, of an Untruth.
To which I replied, that this was a new thing, and deſired to know what ground he had for it.
He anſwered here is Teſtimony, here are they who will witneſſe.
I told him my witneſſe might be taken as ſoon as theirs, and had been formerly before theirs.Mr. 36 C7v 36
Mr. Rols then turning himſelfe towards Mr. Stucley, ſaid, that he believed there was never an untruth ſpoken, and it being things long before, and that every one ſpake as they remembred: and farther ſaid, that he wondred he made ſo much adoe about nothing.
To which Mr. Stucley replied, here is a negative and an affirmative, and therefore a lye; although he never examined where the lye was.
At the concluſion I told them that I ſhould come no more among them.
This is the Subſtance of what I can remember concerning this daies diſcourſe, it being more then three yeares ſince. Whereby it appeares that I have juſt cauſe to charge the lye on themſelves.
A few daies after they ſent for me againe, but I told the meſſenger, ſeeing they had ſo groſſely abuſed me, as to charge a lye upon me, I would come no more among them: that they were a people not to be truſted, and that I would be drawn in ſunder by wild horſes rather then go unto them.
However the ſame day I ſent unto Mr. Slade, one of the Officers, to know what they would have of me, who told me that they were very much troubled at my leaving them, and that they would look on my Returne as a Reſurrection mercy.I 37 C8r 37
I deſired him to returne this as my anſwer unto them, viz. Let them ſtudy the Word, and convince me from the Word what is my dutie in ſuch a Caſe, and I would gladly receive it, and willingly ſubmit to it, ſo unwilling was I to offend them, yet to come any more among them I durſt not, becauſe of their former Carriage, neither was it (as I conceived) ſafe for me to adventure ſingly and without witneſſe among them, who were my accuſers, witneſſes, and judges. Since that day of the meeting aboveſaid I never ſpake with Mr. Stucley, though I deſired it ſeverall times.
Some daies after Mr. Eveleigh and Mr. Slade Officers, and a member with them came unto me, and (as they ſaid) expected Mr. Stucley’s comeing likewiſe, but he came not.
I then complained of their Carriage towards me, telling them how much I was troubled at it, and deſired them alſo to ſhew me from the word what they could expect, and then I ſhould ſubmit.
One of them replied you muſt returne, and do otherwiſe, I anſwered, that I had too much to do with Separation already, and therefore ſhould not returne; then ſaid one of them, then they will never be ſatisfied.
As for Mr. Eveleigh he told me, that my going away ſhould coſt me dearer then my coming in; and that they would proceed accordingding 38C8v 38 ding to the order of the Churches: this was heard by another.
I anſwered, whatever I ſuffered by them, could not be ſo much as had ſuffered for them.
After this others came to me, I told them I did expect to ſpeak with Mr. Stucley, that I might know what he had againſt me, and that I was ready to ſubmit to the word, that they ſhould convince me thereby how I ought to be affected.
Mris Roles alſo came unto me in way of a viſit, who deſired me to conſider what a diſhonour it would be unto the Church, if I left them: and as for what you have at any time ſpoke unto them (ſaid ſhe) I believe it was in the uprightneſſe of your heart, and ſo doth my huſband.
I told her that I did not juſtify my ſelfe in every particular as to the manner of it, ſaid ſhe, you ſpoile all in ſaying you will leave them, and if you do ſo, what will they ſay of my Cozen Stucley? and what will they ſay of us? conſider, we are riſing, and more will come into us continually.
And after this Mris. Stoneham came unto me, asking with teares in her eies, whether I would not returne, and whether ſhe was the cauſe of my going away.
I demanded of her whether Mr. Stoneham knew of her coming? She anſwered, that ſhe did 39D1r 39 did not ſee him at her coming away. I then told her that it was reported by ſome of them, that they could not partake with me in ordinances now.
For my part (ſaid ſhe) I was never of that mind, neither do I know any who are, but on the contrary we are all much troubled that you will leave us.
About two months after, Ezekiel Pace was ſent from Mr. Eveleigh, to tell me that I was ſuſpended by the Church.
I told him that I had left their Society, and that I had no communion with them.
He anſwered, they conceived that they could not otherwiſe diſcharge their dutie unto me, and as for what they had done, it was in order to my return.
I replyed that my purpoſe was never to returne unto them.
After I had made my Addreſſe to the Miniſters of the City, deſiring to be admitted into fellowſhip and communion with them in ordinances. Mr. Stucley underſtanding thereof ſent Mr. Eveleigh unto Mr. John Bartlet Miniſter, to give him notice that they had ſeverall things againſt me: upon which it was by Mr. Bartlet deſired that they would produce their charge, which they promiſed to do, although it was long firſt, yet at length (after often deſiring of it) a meeting was appointed at Mr. Fords D houſe 40D1v 40 houſe the Miniſter: Between Mr. Ford and Mr. Bartlet on the one ſide, and Mr. Stucley and Mr. Eveleigh on the other. At which meeting I was preſent, there they did declare what they had againſt me, concerning Mris Eveleigh and Babylon, where they charged me with an untruth. And the reſult of this conference was this, the Articles wherewith they charged me, being after ſerious Examination by all the miniſters of the City found partly doubtfull and proofeleſſe, and partly frivolous, I was ſhortly after (according as I deſired) received into Communion with them; and ſo continued neer three yeares, till Mr. Stucley’s Curſing began to make a noiſe in the world, which was neer three yeares after I deſerted them.
Neer three years after my leaving of them, Mr. Eveleigh acquainted me with a faſt in order to their Excommunication. I then deſired that the buſineſſe might be brought to a new triall before the miniſters, whom they had acquainted with it formerly, and with whom I was in Communion, without whoſe advice I would do nothing.
But this was not hearkned unto, they being (it ſeemes) reſolved on their worke of Excommunication, how cauſeleſſe and unjuſt ſoever.
Let that letter that Mris. Allen and my ſelfe jointly ſubſcribed and ſent to Mr. Stucley to be communicated to the Church, ſtand as a vvitneſſe 41D2r 41 witneſſe between us and them, to teſtifie to all the world how unjuſtly they charge us with Contumacy and refuſing of Admonition, whereby it evidently appeares that we honoured them ſo far as to receive their Summons, and to return them our Anſwer, wherein we did
1 Deſire a fair triall between them and us before underſtanding and impartiall mren.
2 We did profeſſe our deſire to ſubmit to the law and will of Chriſt, when we ſhould ſee reaſon from Scripture to Convince.
3 We did in the generall profeſſe our Repentance for thoſe Evills that we knew our ſelves guilty of.
Thus far we condeſcended to them. And let the impartiall Reader judge what they could expect more from us, who had upon Conſcientious principles withdrawne from communion with them, as Maſter Allen hath already declared of his wife; and my ſelfe having deſerted them neere three yeares before (being convinced of the groundleſneſſe of ſeparation for ſeverall particulars I declared to the Elder; & the cauſe of my withdrawing being not removed; but more offence being ſtill given by them, how could I acknowledge them ſo as to put my ſelfe upon their tryall. Beſides how could wee with ſafety put our ſelves on their triall, who were enraged with us ſince we left them; which they diſcovered by their Calumniating and defaming of us.D2 Be- 42 D2v 42
Beſides we having been in fellowſhip with the Lords people in other congregations; my ſelfe ſeverall yeares, and Mris. Allen for ſome time, we being ſo aſperſed by them as we were, how could we cleer our ſelves, ſo as to ſatisfie them that we were in Communion with (without a tryall) ſo as that they might not ſuffer by us; for what we were aſperſed with, did in ſome manner reflect upon them, who had received us into fellowſhip with them.
And whereas Mr. Stucley in his book Intituled (Manifeſt Truth) pag. 22. pretends that it robbes particular Churches of that power and authority which Chriſt hath intruſted them with, of Trying and cenſuring their own delinquent members &c.
Reſol.Resolution This is nothing to the purpoſe, we were not their members, but reall members of ſome other congregations. If they have power to cenſure their own delinquent members, we doe not hinder them from exerciſing their power. But have they therefore power to Cenſure the members of other Churches? we had withdrawen from Communion with them, and they having not ſatisfied us ſo as to remove the occaſion of our leaving them.
May he not therefore reflect upon himſelfe, who hath contrary to his own profeſſed principles robbed the Church of their power, and of their members in Cenſuring of us, without the Ap- 43D3r 43 Approbation of thoſe miniſters and congregations to which we ſtood related? May we not therefore aske him, who gave you this Authority of lording it over Churches and their members without their Counſell or conſent? Is not this practice of his too mcuh like thoſe that the Apoſtle foretells of Acts 20. 2429. For I know this that after my departure ſhall grievous wolves enter in among you, not ſparing the flock, and our Saviour tells us there are wolves in ſheeps-cloathing, ye ſhall know them by their fruits, Matth, 7. 15, 16. Beſides, let it be conſidered, in denying of us this liberty to have a fair Triall, hath he not hereby denyed Communion of Churches, he being ſince deſired ſeverall times by ſeverall miniſters of the City, that the buſineſſe might be brought to a Triall, they judging it unreaſonable that we ſhould be excommunicated by them, untill the cauſe be clearly proved, and we be permitted to Anſwer for our ſelves. But this he hath evaded for ſeverall months, and in ſtead thereof takes liberty to preach and print what he pleaſeth of us, that ſo he may render our names and perſons odious to them that know us not.
And for farther Anſwer to him in that he pretends that it robs the Church of the power that Chriſt hath given &c. It being a point of controverſie I ſhall leave it to the learned. Let him conſult the Judgments of thoſe that are D3 for 44D3v 44 for the Congregationall way.
The Apologeticall Narration preſented to the houſe of Parliament, and ſubſcribed by T.G. P.N. S.S. I.B. W.B. in anſwer to this objection, viz. That is ſuch a congregationall governm ēent, thus entire within it ſelfe, there is not allowed ſufficient Remedy for miſcarriages or wrongfull ſentences, or perſons injured thereby, no Room for complaints, no powerfull or effectuall means to reduce a Church or Churches that fall into hereſie, or ſchiſme; but every one is left, and may take liberty, without controle to do what is good in their owne eyes.
Pag. 14. We could not but judge it a ſafe, & an allowed way to retaine the Government of our ſeverall Congregations for matter of diſcipline within themſelves, &c. yet not claiming to our ſelves an independent power in every Congregation, to give account, or be ſubject to none others, but onely a full and entire power compleat within our ſelves, untill we ſhould be challenged to erre groſly: ſuch as Corporations enjoy, who have the power and priviledge to paſſe ſentence for life and death within themſelves, and yet are accountable to the State they live in.
Pag. 16. An inſtance they give of their owne practice in a buſineſſe of this nature of Excommunication, wherewith ſome Churches were offended.In 45 D4r 45
In this Caſe our Churches did mutually and univerſally acknowledge and ſubmit to this as a Sacred and undoubted Principle and ſupreme Law to be obſerved among all Churches. That as by vertue of that Apoſtolicall Command, Churches as well as particular men are bound to give no offence, neither to Jew or Gentile, nor the Churches of God they live amongſt: ſo that in all caſes of ſuch offences or difference, by the obligation of the common law of Communion of Churches, and for the vindication of the glory of Chriſt, which in common they hold forth, the Church or Churches challenged to offend or differ are to ſubmit themſelves, upon the challenge of the offence or complaint of the perſon wronged, to the moſt full and open triall and examination by other neighbour churches offended thereat, of what ever hath given the offence. And farther that by vertue of the ſame and like law of not partaking of other mens ſins, the Churches offended may & ought (upon the Impenitency of thoſe Churches perſiſting in their error and miſcarriage) to pronounce that heavy ſentence againſt them of withdrawing and renouncing all Chriſtian Communion with them, untill they do repent. And farther, to declare and proteſt this, with the cauſes thereof to all other Churches of Chriſt that they might do the like.D4 Pag. 46 D4v 46
Pag. 21. It was openly and publiquely profeſſed in a ſpeech, that was the Preface to that diſcuſſion, to this effect. That it was the moſt abhorred Maxime that any Religion hath ever made Profeſſion of, and therefore of all other the moſt contradictory and diſhonourable unto that of Chriſtianity, That a ſingle and particular Society within themſelves ſhould farther arrogate unto themſelves an Exemption from giveing account, or being Cenſureable by any other, either Chriſtian magiſtrate above them; or neighbour Churches about them. So farr (ſay they) were our Judgements, from that Independent liberty, that is imputed to us.
So Mr Borroughs, heart diviſion p. 43. where he ſayes, Thoſe in the Congregationall way acknowledge that they are bound in conſcience, to give account of their wayes to the Churches about them, or to any other who ſhall require it, this, not in an Arbitrary way, but as a duty they owe to God and man.
Reader, here you ſee how wide and diſſonant, the judgements of thoſe (more) learned of the Congregationall way are from the practice and proceedings of Mr Stucley & his Church: Thoſe of that way acknowledging, but hee denying, ſubmiſſion to any examination, or triall by neighbour Churches, and hee and his Church claiming an Independent power, or liberty to give 47D5r 47 give no account, or be ſubject to no others, though accuſed and challenged for erring groſly in point of their Arbitrary unjuſt proceedings againſt us, which is plainly manifeſted in Maſter Allen’s booke called (Truths manifeſt revived) and will farther appeare in my enſuing Vindication, to which I haſten; This being (to my beſt remembrance) a true Relation of what paſſed between us, untill the Excommunication.
By that which hath been ſaid in my Narrative, it is manifeſt that I was never queſtioned, much leſſe admoniſhed for lying, untill my coming off from them, that they 48D5v 48 they never accounted me (whiles I was with them) ſuch a vile perſon as now by their ſlanderous pamphlets they endeavour to make the world believe me to be: and here I cannot but wonder at Mr Mall, that he, being a ſtranger to me, and altogether ignorant of my manner of life and converſation, ſhould yet be ſo raſh and inconſiderate, as meerly upon reports to defame me in Print, for which he is bound in conſcience as he is a Miniſter (if he be one) a Chriſtian, yea, as he is a man, to give the Church of God, mee, and the world, ſatisfaction.
The Notes, (ſaith he in his Epiſtle to the Reader) of Mr Stucleys Sermon, I am glad I took in ſhort hand from his mouth, or otherwiſe thou mighteſt never have ſeen a true Copy of them.
Surely, if the Copy do agree with the Originall, (which ſome queſtion) I ſhall be ſo bold to affirme of both that they exceedingly diſagree with the Truth, in laying thoſe Crimes to my charge which they are never able to prove, as will ſufficiently (I beleive) appeare in theſe my following Anſwers to their Severall Articles.
I ſhall begin with that of lying, it being that which my accuſer begins and almoſt ends with, which he in many places of his book mentions with a great deale of pretended zeale and indignation, which he indeavours to equall with the ſin of Inceſt, which he ſaith is a fault deteſtable to the very heathens. Some of them, this is the 49D6r 49 the Cryme which he and his party eſpecially charge me with both in Citie and Country, crying out every where, I am a lyar, yea an egregious one, and therefore juſtly Excommunicated, This is in fine, the Article on which the whole charge depends.
Before I come to the Charge it ſelfe in particular, I ſhall crave leave to ſpeake ſomething in the generall concerning the apprehenſion I have of this Sin, as alſo ſomewhat concerning Maſter Stucleys practice in reference unto it, whereby it will be evident, both how improbable it is that I ſhould be ſuch an Egregious lyer, as hee hath made mee in his booke, and alſo how unlikely it is, that hee ſhould be ſo zealouſly affected againſt lying as he therein pretends.
For the firſt of theſe. Lying is that Sin, which my Parents from time to time, ſo repreſented unto me in the ſeverall aggravations and deformities thereof, as that I alwaies (ſince I came to yeares of diſcretion) abhorred, and deteſted it, both in my ſelfe and others.
I account a lyar unfit not onely for Chriſtian Communion, but alſo civill Commerce.
From the word, and my own ſadd experience I finde it to be an hereditary evill in all the ſons and daughters of Adam: That the heart is deceitfull and deſperately wicked above all things, who can know it? That there is a way of 50D6v 50 of lying in the beſt of men by nature, in this ſenſe, let God be true, and every man a lyer. The guile, deceipt, falſhood, and hypocriſy which is in the heart, is that which is a chiefe part and member of the bodie of death, and that which makes it out of meaſure ſinfull, and an intollerable burthen to be borne.
As to the practice of this ſin, I do believe that it is not conſiſtent with the worke of grace, That he which lives in the practice thereof, is not a member of Chriſt but a limbe of the divell, it is ſo contrary to the God of truth, ſo contrarie unto Chriſt, who is the Truth, and ſo contrarie unto the Spirit of Truth, and ſo contrary unto the work of Regeneration, as I cannot believe that ſuch a ſoule as lives in the practice thereof, or hath ſlight thoughts of it, was ever begotten againe by the word of Truth, neither is it (I conceive) poſſible for ſuch a one to enjoy comfortable communion with God.
I looke on it as a diſtinguiſhing Character, whereby the Children of God are known from the children of the divel, The Remnant of Iſrael ſhall not doe iniquity, nor ſpeak lies, neither ſhall a deceitfull tongue be found in their mouthes. Lyers are excluded from the New Jeruſalem, that cometh down from God out of heaven, whoſoever loveth and maketh a lie is in the number of thoſe who are without: The hundred fortie and four thouſand that ſtand with the 51D7r 51 the Lambe on Mount Sion, having his fathers name written on their foreheads, which follow the lambe whereſoever he goeth, which were redeemed frōom among men, being the firſt-fruits unto God and to the lambe, in their mouth was found no Guile.
I hope through grace in ſome meaſure I can ſay, That I have ſeen ſuch a deſireable beauty in Truth, as with David to hate and abhorre lying, & whatſoever is contrary unto truth, guile, deceit, hypocriſie, falſhood, a falſe heart, falſe wayes, falſe doctrines, though under never ſo faire pretences, when once they are throughly diſcovered.
And as to my practice, as I deſire to lay aſide every weight that preſſeth down, and the Sin that doth ſo eaſily beſet me, So is it my endeavour in all my approaches unto the Throne of Grace, the word & ordinances, to obtain ſtrength for the purging out more & more of the Guile, hypocriſie, falſhood, and deceit that is in my heart, and is ſtill diſcovering it ſelfe before the Lord, and ready to break out on all occaſions, which doth continually adminiſter matter of lamentation unto me.
And becauſe I find by ſad experience that this body of death doth not lie idle, but is ſtill bringing forth fruit unto death, and being not willing to reſt in my own Teſtimony, conſidering often that of Solomon, he that truſteth 52D7v 52 truſteth his own heart is a fool: and fearing alſo leſt through corruption I might forget the miſcarriages laid to my charge (ſome yeares being expired ere ever I was queſtioned for them) or put them off, I did earneſtly deſire againe and again to ſpeak with Mr. Stucley himſelfe, that I might know his grounds in charging me with lying, but all to no purpoſe; he could not be ſpoken with.
And ſo alſo ſince the Excommunication did I write unto him to know the particulars whereof I am accuſed in reference to lying, that ſo I might accordingly either juſtifie or condemne my ſelfe. But he in ſtead of ſatisfying my juſt and reaſonable demand, moſt imperiouſly and prelatically ſends me a letter full of bitter Calumniations, accuſing me to be a Contentious, dividing, and lying Spirit, without ſo much as naming any particulars.
As to the Second, I might referre the Reader for proof hereof to his practice. It will be found upon triall that he is not of Davids minde in Pſal. 101. 7. to Baniſh from his houſe and ſight, every one that worketh deceit and telleth lies; and though he pretend to baniſh mee (upon that account) from his ſociety and fellowſhip, yet he never queſtioned me for lying, untill I departed from him, untill I ſent him word that I would come no more among them.When 53 D8r 53
When he and Maſter Eveleigh accuſed me to Maſter Forde, and Maſter Bartlet of lying, Maſter Forde asked him whether he had ever admoniſhed me for thoſe things whereof he accuſed me, To which he anſwered that he had not been faithfull unto me, and that I had told him of it my ſelfe, And Maſter Eveleigh added, That they had much a doe to pleaſe me.
Had I continued with them I ſhould, without doubt, notwithſtanding all thoſe lyes I am now accuſed of; have been as favorably dealt with, as two other of their members, who were notoriouſly guilty of lyeing.
As to the firſt of them, it was briefly thus; we having beene enjoyned Secreſie by Mr Stucley, there was notwithſtanding ſomewhat of our private Conferences divulged and made knowne.
Hereupon the next meeting every one was examined, and charged in a ſolemne manner to declare whether they knew who it was that had revealed it: To which a negative anſwer was returned by every one, and when I deſired Maſter Stucley to ſearch after it more narrowly, and preſſe it more cloſely upon them, that the Lyar might be found out, he put mee off with this, that it had beene ſo in another Church, and though he knew who it was afterward (as I am informed) yet the party was never admoniſhed at any of our meetings.
Here was (to be ſure) a negative and an affirmativefirma- 54D8v 54 firmative, a breach of promiſe, and then a denying of that which was freſh in memory and (which is more) the words ſpoken in prvitae betweene our ſelves were miſ-reported, and yet Mr Stucley could quietly paſſe it over.
The other is John Whitehorne, who offered to affirme with oath, that which was by two or three of the members preſently contradicted; and yet Mr Stucley hath beene ſo farre from admoniſhing him for it, as that I heare he is now become an Elder.
By all which it is more then probable, that there is little of truth to be expected in his lying charge, which he expreſſeth in theſe words.
Charge. As for Mris Parr ſhe is accuſed amōong other things for lying more than three times ſufficiently proved, in pag. 18. of his booke publiſhed by Mr Mall. But when ſhe was under Church admonition concerning ſeverall things, ſhe was found tripping very much in reference to her Tongue, and lying egregiouſly, ſo that the whole Church could bear witneſs againſt her.
Reſol: If this Charge be throughly ſifted, it will be found faulty more wayes then one, and ſo egregiouſly tripping, and halting, as that every unbyaſſed Reader may witneſſe againſt it. For,
1. It runs altogether in the generall, in affirming mee to be under Church admonition, for ſeverall things, without naming any one: And when 55E1r 55 then in accuſeing mee only of lying in generall, without inſtancing in ſo much as one particular, whereby others are poſſeſſed with a prejudice againſt mee, and my ſelfe diſenabled to alleadge any thing in mine owne defence, not knowing how the particulars will be framed.
2. Secondly, it confidently aſſerts me guilty of lying more then three times ſufficiently proved, and that ſo egregiouſly, as all the Church could witneſſe againſt mee; when as one of their principall members declared (at that time when I was accuſed of Tripping) in their meeting that hee thought there was never an untruth ſpoken, but that every one ſpake as they remembred.
3. Thirdly and laſtly, it ſayes, I was under Church admonition for ſeverall things.
What hee meaneth by Church admonition I ſcarce underſtand; if by Church admonition hee meanes that diſcourſe which wee had together at the very time (being ten dayes after I left them, when as he ſaith, I was found tripping) I ſay it was no admonition (as I conceived) but onely an examination, as appeares in my Narrative. If he would inſinuate thereby that I was under Church admonition before that time. Then I ſay it could be but for one thing onely which is omitted; neither is there any mention made of it throughout the whole booke; And that was my hearing Mr Forde.E Its 56 E1v 56
Its true Mr Stucley told me, my ſpeaking was diſreliſhed, whereupon I left that practice neere two yeares before I left them; Its true likewiſe that the Elder accuſed mee of contention, upon which I made my appeale unto the Church, who with one conſent acquitted me of that charge,
The Elder alſo accuſed me of cenſoriouſnes for oppoſing (Ganicle) who not longe after turned Quaker, and therby cleered me of that imputation; ſo that I could not be at this time, when as they ſay I lyed ſo egregiouſly, under church admonition for either of theſe,
And as for any other things I cannot remēember any that they did ever manifeſt the leaſt diſlike of, unleſſe my practice of hearing Mr Forde, (which is the thing (not things) for which I was under Church admonition) the thing which hath occaſioned all this trouble; and for which, (as Mr Stucley in a letter formerly threatned) they have proceeded to cenſure mee, though it be daubed over with lying & other forged crimes.
This practice of hearing Mr Forde was permitted mee, or at the leaſt winked at by them, ſo long as I had a friend that might pleaſure them in the City and in the Parliament—. Mr Stucley preſently upon his being an Officer, told mee that he did expect I ſhould heare him, and no other, to which I preſently replyed, that it would be hard for mee to leave that Miniſtry which 57E2r 57 which the Lord had made ſo profitable unto mee, and withall gave him my grounds for that practice. At length at the cloſe of our diſcourſe, he ſaid, we ſhould not diſagree about it, and yet afterwards Maſter Stoneham was put upon it to preach and pray againſt mee for this practice.
To take mee off from this practice alſo was Mr Sprague ſent unto me, by Mr Stoneham: the very ſame day at the meeting the Elder told me, they had two things againſt me, one was Contention, the other my hearing Mr Forde, which the Church neither could nor would bear: the Elder the next day after the buſineſſe of contention was ended, told mee that he had nothing againſt mee but my hearing Mr Forde.
Mr Slade alſo, and Mr Rolls came to mee as meſſengers from the Church (as they ſaid) to admoniſh me in particular of hearing Mr Forde: Mr Stucley himſelfe wrote me two long letters, about this very thing, & in one of them threatned to cenſure mee for it: they kept a faſt for this very particular the 1654-02-2424. of February 1654.
They omitted the adminiſtration of the Lords Supper for this reaſon (as Mr Raddon told me) yea Mr Stoneham ſaid, that if I would not fit downe under his Miniſtry, he would be no Officer unto mee.
When I was deſired afterwards to forbeare coming to the Sacrament, without giving any other reaſon then this; That ſome body did E2 deſire 58E2v 58 deſire me to forbeare (who this ſomebody was I could never learne) I went forthwith to ſeverall members, to know what they had againſt mee, who anſwered, they had nothing, but my going to heare others, which practice (they ſaid) was deſtructive to the Church. By all which it is manifeſt that this was the onely thing they had againſt mee, untill I had left them, and yet this is omitted, and other things are pretended. Let all the world judge whether this be not Serpentine ſubtilty: As to this charge of (lying) I ſhall deſire the Reader to conſider farther theſe three or fower particulars.
1. The time when they found me Tripping, (as he ſaith) it was after I had left them. Before I had ſent them word that I was reſolved to withdraw from their Society I was never queſtioned for a lye: what doth this imply, but that they reſolved my going off ſhould coſt mee dearer then my coming in among them, according to the Elder Mr Eveleighs threatning.
Again, it was at that time when I went to thēem in love, in the ſimplicity of my heart, to give them ſatisfaction why I left them, as I did at the firſt why I aſſociated my ſelfe with them; thinking as little to be charged with lying, as with theft, murder, or other ſins not to be named among Chriſtians. And here I cannot but commend Mris Allen her diſcretion, in refuſing to adventure her ſelf ſingly among them, which had 59E3r 59 had ſhe done, they would have made her as great a lyer, as my ſelfe, thereby Mr Stucley would have been freed from the trouble of framing two indifferent bills of indictment againſt us.
2. Secondly, the matters about which they examined me at that time were ſuch as had been done and paſt long before, ſome yeares: ſo that if through weakneſſe of memory, my tongue had tripped, how will it follow hence that I lyed ſo egregiouſly as to deſerve Excommunication? How could they be ſure that I made a lye, though I had ſpoken an untruth, unleſſe they knew certainly, that I ſpake againſt my knowledge?
3. Thirdly, I did in my anſwers to their frivolous and cavilling queſtions inſert by way of caution (viz.) as I remember: according to my beſt remembrance, &c. which might have ſatiſfied them, as it did Mr Rolls at that time, had they not beene fully bent to ſlander mee for leaving them.
4. Fowerthly, I was onely accuſed, not convicted, of lying: Mr Stucley ſaid, here are they who will witneſſe, but yet they did not witneſſe any particular, that I abſolutely denied, except John Whitehorne, whoſe teſtimony (though he offered to confirme it with oath) was preſently contradicted by another of their members. Why did not Mr Stucley according to the mannerE3 ner 60E3v 60 ner even of heatheniſh Romans, Act. 25. 16. (who in this ſhew the worke of the Law written in their hearts) require as an Officer, every one to ſpeake out what they had to ſay againſt me? was it for feare leſt they ſhould be found Tripping as John Whitehorne was? I appeale to all impartiall Readers, whether it be not a moſt unrighteous judgement thus to condemne mee without being convicted, yea when I was cleared by Mr Rolls.
And farther let it be conſidered that I was ſo farre acquitted by the Miniſters of this City, as that they gave mee the right hand of fellowſhip, notwithſtanding their impeachments, which I believe they are ready to witneſſe unto the Church, of God when it ſhall be required of them. This may ſuffice to be ſpoken in reference to the charge of lying in the generall.
I ſhall in the next place proceed to Anſwer the Particulars of this lying Charge, as I find them laid down by Mr. Stucley in another Pamphlet of his, Intituled Manifeſt Truth. Being an Angry Anſwer to Mr. Toby Allein, in in which he hath unboſomed and diſcovered himſelfe more fully then in Mr. Mall’s Book. In pag. 41. and ſo onwards, he reduceth the grounds of my Suſpenſion to three heads, Contentiouſneſſe, Cenſoriouſneſſe, and Lying, each of which he inſtanceth in ſeverall particulars. The laſt of theſe I ſhall begin with, and anſwer in the 61E4r 61 the firſt place, which I ſhall do, having briefly conſidered what he ſaith concerning the grounds of my Suſpenſion.
As to that ſuſpenſion that Ezekiel Pace gave me notice of, I ſay that it was neer two months after I had left them, after I was withdrawen from their communion, which ſuſpenſion (as the meſſenger ſaid) was in order to my returne. By which I gather that the chiefe ground thereof was my going away: and that it is ſo, as alſo their Excommunication, almoſt three yeares after, will be manifeſted fully by my following anſwer; wherein I ſhall ſhew that they had no ground at all to ſuſpend or excommunicate me for any of thoſe three particulars mentioned by Mr. Stucley.
And firſt of lying, which in pag. 44, 45. he endeavours to prove in ſix particulars.
Inſtance 1. She affirmed, that ſhe alwaies acknowledged Presbyterian Churches to be true Churches in reſpect of Doctrine and worſhip, and that it was hard for her to ſeparate from the Presbyterians in diſtinguiſhing ordinances; whereas ſhe excepted againſt Mr.Toby Allein, for having his child Baptized by Mr. Ford, and oppoſed his admiſſion on that ground: there were 4 witneſſes to this.
Reſolut. This inſtance hath more of Craft (if I underſtand it) then either truth or reaſon, and may very well (I think) anſwer it ſelfe. E4 I 62E4v 62 I am here brought in oppoſing Mr. Allens ſuſpenſion, and in other pages of his book he ſaith Mr. Allen conſented to my ſuſpenſion.
As Mr. Allen denies the one, ſo do I the other. But ſuppoſe I ſhould have done it, they all know it was my judgment and my practice at that time: where is the lye?
I told them it was very hard for mee to ſeparate in diſtinguiſhing Ordinances. And they may remember the ſame time I told them alſo what was my ground why I did ſeparate: what can be gathered hence, but that I did that which was very hard for me to do, ſeparate in diſtinguiſhing Ordinances, and diſlike Mr. Allen, becauſe he was not of the ſame mind?
But I am very much diſſatisfied and offended with this charge, becauſe it doth differ from the charge which I was charged with by them, which was this, namely for ſpeaking againſt Mr Allen, becauſe he did partake of the ordinance of the Lords ſupper with the Presbyterians.
And this I denied; my reaſon was, becauſe I had never heard at that time, that Mr. Allen did partake with the Presbyterians in that ordinance; its now Seaven yeares ſince.
Inſtance 2. She affirmed that ſhe never oppoſed Mris Dorothy Eveleighs admiſſion, but was for it, whereas the generality of the then members of the Church witneſſed, that a long 63E5r 63 long time ſhe openly contended againſt it to the griefe of the Church.
Reſolut. 1. I have marveild many times why they ſhould queſtion me about oppoſing of her, who was long before in her grave, and with whom I had loving and Chriſtian converſe to her dying day.
2ly, That I affirmed that I never ſpake againſt her is falſe, neither could I get any advantage by it, ſeeing others of the Church did the like, in whom it was not lookt upon as an evill. I might ſay more, but that I am unwilling to rake in the aſhes of the dead.
3ly,I gave Mr. Stucley a Reaſon why I ſpake againſt her at the firſt, (which he himſelfe mentions pag. 43. in the 4th. particular of Contention) not to have her kept off, but that ſhe might acknowledge her ſin in breaking the law of Charity &c.
4ly, That I did ſpeak for her admiſsion, Mr. Stucley himſelfe witneſſed it to Mr. Eveleigh in his own houſe, and alſo another of their members E.B. hath (as ſhe told me) declared unto them that it was I who prevailed with her to conſent unto the admiſſion of Mris Dorothie Eveleigh.
Inſtance 3. She denied that ſhe ever called the Preſbyterian Churches by the name of Babylon, whereas moſt of the Church witneſſed that ſhe had often ſo called them.Reſol: 64 E5v 64
Reſol. What I anſwered Mr. Stucley when he did in a manner reprove me for acknowledging that to be a true Church, which formerly I had called Babylon, appeares in the Narrative. To which I ſhall farther adde
1 Suppoſe it were true, that I had in the heat of Contention at our firſt ſeparation vented ſome raſh and inconſiderate expreſſions in reference to the Presbyterian Churches, or the Preſbyterians themſelves, yet it ill becomes Mr. Stucley and the reſt to be my accuſers, who continue in the ſame practice; in judging me for this, they do but condemne themſelves, according to that of the Apoſtle Rom. 2. 1. Why do they cenſure me now for this, ſeeing I am not guilty of it at preſent? why did not they admoniſh me for it formerly, when I was with them?
2 Would they even now be ſo faithfull unto me, as to name any particular time, place, or other circumſtance that might bring ſuch expreſſions to my remembrance, they ſhould find me as ready to condemne my ſelfe, as they are to accuſe me, if done in an orderly manner.
(3ly) It may be that which occaſioned this report, was my mentioning of Babylons brats, at the time when I ſpake my Experiences.
I did then declare how hard it was for me to Separate from thoſe who were godly, and whoſe miniſtry had bin ſo profitable unto me: But when 65E6r 65 when I conſidered the command of god, Touch noe uncleane thing, and I will receive you. &c. I conceived it did ſufficiently warrant our Seperating from them: And farther I declared that there were many litle ones, Babyloniſh Brats, which muſt be daſht againſt the ſtones, which (I then told them) I did underſtand of things, not perſons. But they, many of them, being newly crept into a forme of godlines, were ſo ignorant of that diſtinction, as what I ſpake of things, they interpreted of perſons; which was ſo farr from my thoughts, as that when I began to read the Booke Intituled, (one blowe more to Babylon.) I lay’d it aſide, as not being able to Cloſe with the Author thereof, becauſe of his many Reflections therein, though (as they all know) I had a high eſteme of him, and did not uſe to ſlight him.
(4ly) When I did at any time afterward name Babylon, I never meant it but of Babylon in the Myſtery, conſiſting either in the joyning of mens Inventions with Chriſts inſtitutions; or in preſſing of things indifferent upōon the conſcience, as neceſſary; or in the ſetting up of mixtures in the Ordinances of Chriſt, So far as I apprehended any of theſe, I did declare againſt them: And for theſe very things doe I now declare againſt that Congregation from which I have departed, which I little thought at firſt would have bin found amongſt them.Inſtance 66 E6v 66
Inſtance. 4. She denied that ever ſhe endeavoured to have Mr Stoneham paſtor, and under her owne hand were theſe words, I never laboured to bring him to that office; whereas the contrary was witneſſed by three perſons.
Reſolut. What I affirmed in my letter I believed to be truth, neither have I reaſon to think the contrary: if it were as Mr Stucley ſayth, More then three would have been able to witneſſe it: ’tis true, he being an ancient non conformiſt, and very ſenſible of the evils under which the Church of God did formerly groane, I had a good eſteeme of him; but that I laboured to have him Paſtor, will never (I believe) be clearly proved, yea two or three of the chiefeſt of them, did witneſſe in the meeting, that they never heard mee ſpeake for him.
Inſtance 5. She affirmed that ſhe never profitted by Mr Stonehams preachings, and never approved his Miniſtry, the contrary hereunto was witneſſed by three perſons.
Reſol. What I affirmed concerning Mr Stoneham was in a letter in theſe words, (viz.) As for M. Stonehams preachings, I have had little benefit by it, but I have imputed it to my owne dulneſſe in hearing, and did hope that when I was better acquainted with his method in teaching I ſhould profit more by it: they that witneſſe other then this witneſſe a lie.
Inſtance 6. Shee denyeth in a letter, That ſhee 67E7r 67 ſhee ſuſpected thoſe that had Kindred and Relations among the Presbyterians, whereas many witneſſed the contrary.
Reſol. 1. If the contrary were true, then I muſt have ſuſpected my ſelfe having Kindred and acquaintance that were Presbyterians, with whōom I had daily ſocietie, & intimate communion, and whom I did highly honour, for the image of God ſhining in them; though our judgments differed.
2ly. Let them ſhew me the perſons whom I ſuſpected, and I will ſhew other grounds of my ſuſpicion.
3ly. They themſelves queſtioned me for my affections to thoſe of different judgements, even Presbyterians, and therefore I cannot but wonder, that they ſhould dare to charge mee with this.
This may (I hope) ſuffice with all judicious and impartiall Readers, for the wiping off that filth, which they flung after mee at my leaving them, in reference to lying, one of thoſe three generalls to which he reduced the ground of my Suſpenſion; the other two are contentiouſneſſe, and cenſoriouſneſſe, ſo he is pleaſed to miſcall, Love and Faithfulneſſe.
Contention. The firſt of theſe (Contention) he ſaith, pag. 41. in his Anſwer to Mr Toby Allen, was proved by many witneſſes in ſix particulars.Anſ. 68 E7v 68
Anſ. As to this I anſwer, that I was cleared by the whole Church of this Impeachment, (as in my narrative) which all of them can witneſſe if they will; ſince that time none of them ever undertook to prove it to my face.
I was ſo far from delighting in Contention, as that I complained of it to Mr. Stucley ſeverall times, and alſo in a letter I told him plainly, that I was not able to live in the fire of Contention, nor ſit down under a miniſtry that I could not profit by, and therefore I ſhould willingly withdraw from them; which I did accordingly for this and other reaſons, & therefore he hath little reaſon to accuſe me of Contention. But he ſaith it was proved in theſe particulars.
Inſtance 1. In very many, if not in moſt of thoſe debates which have been in the Church ſince our firſt coming together, ſhe hath been uſually ſilent, untill the Church have been ready to come to ſome determination, or had determined, and then ſhe would object againſt what ſhe perceived was the Judgment of the Church, and purſued it with much violence. This the generality of the then Church witneſſed.
Sol. 1. Was I ſilent till the laſt? why may not Elihu’s Apologie be mine? Job. 32. 4, 5, 10, 11, 12.
2 My Aſſent was required to their determinationsminations, 69E8r 69 minations, and therefore it was very fit I ſhould know what ground there was for them; eſpecially conſidering that the then Church-members, the generality of them were novices in Chriſtianity, and very weak in the firſt principles; ſo unacquainted with the Rule, as that they knew not how to behave themſelves in the Church of God, knew not how to direct either themſelves or others, in matters of faith or order, without inſtructions from abroad; yea we were then in a bewildred condition, without officers and ſome of the ordinances, and profeſſed our ſelves to be a people that had loſt our way, and that were ſeekers of the way to Syon.
3 As for my purſuing it with much violence, I know not what he meanes, unleſſe it be that I refuſed to be ſatisfied with their determinations, when they gave me no ſufficient ground for them.
Inſtance 2. Secondly, when it was moved in the Church to this effect, That it was very neceſſary to have reſpect in our admiſſion of Church members to union in Judgment, (at leaſt in all the ordinances of Chriſt) that peace and love in the Church might be preſerved; ſhe did eagerly contend againſt this motion, and occaſioned long and ſad diſputes between the Church and her ſelfe, eſpecially concerning ſinging of Pſalmes, the practice of which ſhe abſolutely 70E8v 70 abſolutely denied, and declared That praiſes and thankſgivings unto God in prayer were only that ſinging which the Scripture requireth. This alſo the generality of the then Church members did witneſſe.
Sol. 1. Mr. Stucleywas not preſent at this meeting.
2. Thoſe who made this motion were ſome of them very weak and erronious in their Judgment.
3. When this motion was made, we were without ſome of the ordinances, and ſo continued for ſome yeares after this, And they who made this motion were of a very indifferent Spirit, as to the procureing them, untill they had ſetled themſelves in publique offices. This was ſuch a burden unto mee, as that I was very much diſſatiſfied; when as they (who needed ſome to enforme their Judgments) who made ſo litle Reckoning of the ordinances, ſhould yet be ſo forward after union in Judgment: I conceived the worke we had to doe, was to free our ſelves from that Confuſion in which we were, by getting officers and ordinances.
4. As to Singing of Pſalmes, It’s true, I did at that time queſtion it, which doth adminiſter matter of daily humiliation unto me, to conſider and remember the darknes of my minde, that hath and continually doth, cauſe mee to wander from the way of the lord to the right hand and to 71F1r 6971 to the left; But yet Mr Stucley hath litle Reaſon to Charge me with it, for,
1. He was the firſt that unſetled mee as to this practiſe, by Speaking againſt it himſelfe, &
2. Some of his members have ſpoken more ſlightingly of this ordinance then ever I did, in affirming that one who was poſſeſſed of the divell would ſinge Pſalmes, that they who ſunge Pſalmes, ſunge lyes &c.
3. The generality of the People that were for ſeperation every where Scrupled Singing, as to the matter, manner, place or time: So that it was a vaine thing as ſuch a time to Expect union as to this ordinance, much more to preſſe it ſo eagerly, as to make it a neceſſary qualification of Church member ſhip, when as the Apoſtle ſayth, Him that is weake in the faith receive you, but not to doubtfull diſputations: whereupon I did oppoſe, not union, ſo much as the pride and irregularity of three members,
Mr Owen, and John Whitehorne (then ſervant to Mr Mayne) who tooke upon them to deny Admiſsion unto two perſons who propoſed themſelves, becauſe they differed in judgment about the Circumſtance of this ordinance, and that before it was debated by the Church (conſiſting at that time onely of eight or nine perſons) when as admitting or refuſing of perſons was then accounted a Church act, that which was to be debated by the whole. Theſe perſons did F affe- 72F1v 7172 affectionately declare, that they were in the darke about the manner of ſinging, not knowing whether it were a praiſing of God in a muſicall tune, or praiſing of him in prayer: one of them being asked, whether ſhee looked on ſinging of Pſalmes as an ordinance of God, ſhee anſwered, that ſhe lookt on praiſing of God, as an ordinance of God, and as for ſinging, as not uſed, ſhe could not ſay but it might be an ordinance of God, however it was doubtfull to her: This perſon was afterwards received into the Church, and hath atteſted this under her owne hand; ſo that its evident, theſe words were ſpoken by others, and if I did afterwards ſpeake them, it was on the behalfe of thoſe perſons whoſe judgement I ſpake, more then mine own. And farther, the deſire I had to be informed concerning it, put mee upon objecting many things againſt it, eſpecially when Mr Stucley was preſent: for this cauſe alſo was I very earneſt with them to procure an able Miniſter, as all the then Church can witneſſe.
Inſtance 3. Thirdly, ſhe hath oppoſed ſeverall perſons in their Admiſſion, who have beene knowne to be of approved godlineſſe and integrity; and thoſe who have beene moſt lyable to Exception, ſhe hath moſt contended for, inſomuch that the Church, having reſpited the admiſſion of a perſon concerning whoſe converſation they were not ſufficiently ſatisfied; ſhe did 73F2r 7073 did openly declare againſt it, in theſe words, That it was an unrighteous ſentence: this particular was witneſſed by foure perſons.
Reſol. As to the former part of the Accuſation, my oppoſing perſons (reputed godly) in their admiſſions, I anſwer,
1. They themſelves have done the ſame, as appeares in my anſwer to the Accuſation immediately preceding this: They denyed admiſſion to two perſons, eſteemed godly, becauſe they ſcrupled Singing, and for their unwillingneſſe to ſpeake their Experiences in a publique meeting.
2. I never oppoſed any for their godlineſſe, and as for any who were eſteemed godly, I never oppoſed them alone, without other members, why am I therefore more Contentious then they?
3. They were not all godly whom I oppoſed, as is evident in Ganicle, who after his Admiſsion (which I withſtood) turned Quaker.
As to the ſecond part of the Accuſation, my contending for thoſe who were moſt lyable to exception, I anſwer. The perſons I contended for are now many of thēem Church-members, and ſuch (I conceive) as Mr Stucley, and the reſt, do not now looke upon as lyable to exception.
As for the perſon concerning whom I uſed thoſe words, that it was an unrighteous ſentence, it was A.P. one generally accounted F2 godly, 74F2v 7274 godly, yea Mr Stucley himſelfe hath given this Teſtimony of her often, that ſhe would oppoſe Sin where ever ſhe found it, that ſhee would not feare to Reprove it, where ever ſhe came, ſhee being in fellowſhip with us from the firſt beginning, did at length propoſe her ſelfe to be admitted a Church-member, but this was denied her, becauſe of her unwillingneſſe to declare her Experiences in a publique meeting, this was the onely reaſon (that ever I heard) why ſhe was then kept off.
Afterwards, when the Admiſſion of members began to be in private, ſhe propoſed her ſelfe againe, but was refuſed the ſecond time, becauſe that ſome had a prejudice againſt her, for which (as I conceived) they had little reaſon, the things whereof ſhe was accuſed were triviall, neither were they ſufficiently proved, yea Mr Stucley himſelfe cleared her, as to ſome one of the particulars: and although ſhe was in ſocietie with us for ſome yeares, yet ſhe was not permitted to ſpeake for her ſelfe: Her companion alſo, a Church-member, who lived continually with her by reaſon of her many weakneſſes, was ready to anſwer for her, but it would not be permitted.
After this meeting was diſmiſt, I deſired M. Stucley that I might not be preſent at ſuch debates, for I lookt on this as an unrighteous judgement, of which he ſeemed then to take no great 75F3r 7375 great notice: if he were offended at that expreſſion, why did he not preſently examine what ground I had for it? why did hee not convince me of the Equity of their proceedings? which untill it be done, I cannot but looke on it to this day as an unrighteous ſentence, ſuch a ſentence as they have cauſe to be humbled for. It is not unknowne to thoſe, who were acquainted with her, how that ſhe was a perſon that had beene under great Terrours of minde, and affliction of ſpirit, even from her youth, that ſhe walked very ſadly continually, partly by reaſon of the weakneſſe of her body, and partly by reaſon of thoſe temptations, with which her whole life was accōompanied. ſo that it is not to be wondred at, if ſhe were troubled at her being twice refuſed admiſsion, by thoſe whom ſhe did ſo highly honour; and that ſhe was ſo exceedingly troubled at it, appeares by what ſhe ſaid to mee two daies before her death, which was within few dayes after they had denyed to admit her, ſhe then told mee that their cruell dealing was the cauſe of her death. And when ſhee was told that death could not come till his commiſsion was ſealed by him who had the keyes of hell and death; ſhe anſwered, ſhee knew that very well, but yet they were the inſtruments which had effected it: ſhee deſired mee likewiſe to tell them of their pride and cruelty, and to beware of F3 them 76F3v 7576 them; ſhe likewiſe grieved very much that Mr Stucley came not unto her when ſhe ſent for him in her ſickneſſe: however ſhe teſtified her love unto the Church and him, by leaving them both Legacies: the morning after ſhe dyed Mr R. (as I heard) came to the houſe, and did with teares in his eyes, tell her companion to this effect, that he and his wife had bleſſed God ſolemnly for that they had no hand in this cenſure. Mr Stucley himſelfe honoured her ſo farre after ſhee was dead, as to preach her funerall Sermon: by all which it appeares how little reaſon hee hath to charge mee with being disſatisfied with their cenſuring her, and calling it an unrighteous ſentence, when as others beſides my ſelfe did not looke on it as righteous.
Inſtance 4. Shee oppoſed the Admiſſion of D. E. for her Joyning with the Preſbyterians in the ordinance of the lords Supper, & inſiſted upon it with much Earneſtnes, ſhee then declareing that ſhee could not be ſatisfied otherwiſe, then by her acknowledging it to be her Sin in breaking the law of Charity: This was witneſſed by Seaven perſons.
Solution. This cannot prove me Contentious, any more then the generality of them, who have acknowledged that they did ſpeak againſt her; and ſome of them told me, that whereas I had one thing againſt her, they had twenty: yea Mr. Stucley himſelfe was ſo diſſatisfied with her 77F4r 7477 her, as that he took advice with another miniſter about her; but I remember the law of Charity to the dead, and therefore forbear to adde any more, but refer the Reader to my Narrative, where ſhe is brought in as a witneſſe againſt me for lying, as ſhe is here to prove me contentious. Surely if Mr. Eveleigh did ever love her whiles ſhe lived, the beſt teſtimony he can give of it will be by letting her alone, to reſt quietly in her grave, and not urge me any more to publiſh that, which the law of Charity requires to be concealed.
Inſtance 5. She cauſed a great deale of diſturbance amongſt us after the Officers were choſen, in preſſing with much earneſtneſſe that Mr. Stoneham might be choſen Paſtor: this was witneſſed by three perſons.
Reſol. I know not what he meanes by diſturbance, nor who was diſturbed, neither have I any ground to believe that I cauſed the leaſt diſturbance to any, as to this particular. If I had cauſed ſuch a great deale of diſturbance amongſt them, it might have been witneſſed by more than three witneſſes. And as for Mr. Stoneham I wonder they ſhould alleadge him as an Inſtance of my Contentiouſneſſe now he is abſent, who when he was preſent in the name of the Church pronounced me innocent, as to this very impeachment, after he was Officer.
Inſt. 6. She did a long time contend for womensF4 mens 78F4v 7678 mens ſpeaking in the Church; and being admoniſhed for practiſing accordingly, ſhe did openly profeſſe that ſhe would not be preſent at Church meetings when matters were debated, unleſſe ſhe might have that liberty, and being denied, ſhe ever ſince contemptuouſly neglected Church meetings, and ſlighted the officers of the Church.
In pag. 20 of Mr. Mall’s book, he laies down the charge in theſe words. She took liberty of ſpeaking in the Church for ſome time, and being reproved by me for it, from time to time there was a viſible decay of affection to me &c.
Solut. That it is falſe, as to the whole charge taken together, appeares, in that there are none (as in the former particulars) mentioned who did witneſſe it, neither will he ever find any (unleſſe they be deſperately hardned) that dare affirme it, which I ſhall make evident in my Anſwers to the ſeverall particulars thereof.
As to the firſt particular (viz.) ſhe took the the liberty of ſpeaking, and ſhe did a long time contend for womens ſpeaking &c.
To this I anſwer,
1. As for womens ſpeaking it was uſually practiſed amongſt us by the reſt of my Sex. And it is well known that the power was pretended at firſt to be in the body of the people, in the multitude, ſo that every one had the libertyberty 79F5r 7779 berty of aſſenting or diſſenting, of arguing and debating any matter propoſed, whether men or women. If women were denied the liberty of ſpeaking, how could they declare their Experiences: yea A. P. was kept off for refuſing this.
2. It is falſe that I took the liberty of ſpeaking, it was not only given me, but the liberty of being ſilent was denied me, and that by Mr. Stucley himſelfe, who would ſend for me at the meetings, even then when there was never a woman of the Church but my ſelfe: and afterwards many times he would ſingle me out in the meetings, and urge me very earneſtly to declare my Judgment in reference to what had been propoſed.
3. As to my contending for womens ſpeaking, by my former Anſwers it appeares, that Mr Stucley hath little reaſon to charge me with it, unleſſe he expected that I ſhould be as fickle as himſelfe, in taking up, and laying down opinions and practiſes, as they ſuited with, or thwarted his humour and intereſt.
As to the ſecond particular, whereas he ſaith he admoniſhed and reproved me for it from time to time, I anſwer,
That all the Admonition and Reproofe I had from him, was that mentioned in my Narrative, viz: that my ſpeaking was diſreliſhd by ſome, whereupon I reſolved Silence for the future, 80F5v 7980 future, although I had looked on the Contrary as my duty formerly; which reſolution I accordinglie kept alwaies after the Officers were choſen, unleſſe it were when I was required to give in my thoughts concerning a perſon, propoſed or asked a queſtion; yea Mr. Stucley witneſſeth for me in the charge it ſelfe, where he ſaith, it was a long time that I contended for womens ſpeaking, and in Mr Mall’s book for ſome time &c. By which it is evident that I did not continue in the practiſe thereof to the laſt: how can then my ſpeaking be brought as an Inſtance to prove me contentious (one ground of their Suſpenſion) neer three yeares after I had left of this practiſe.
As for what he ſaith followed on his Reproving and admoniſhing me, viz. 1 A decay of Affection to him.
I anſwer, if there were ſuch a viſible decay of affection, he miſtook the cauſe of it. It was not his reproving of me, no, the reproof was ſo mild and gentle, and at ſuch a diſtance, as that I had litle reaſon to be angry with him for it. But it was his ſelfe-ſeeking, and minding his own things more then the things of Chriſt &c. againſt which I did declare my diſlike both before and after this reproof and admonition.
As to what he ſaies, that after their denying me the libertie of ſpeaking, I contemptuouſly neglected Church meetings, and ſlighted the officers.I 81 F6r 7881
I anſwer that it is a groſſe lye, a lye ſo egregious, as that the whole church can witneſſe (if they pleaſe) againſt it.
For I was after this conſtantly at church meetings, the liberty of ſpeaking by a Brother being allowed me; yea I declared that I was very much diſſatisfied, becauſe the meetings (after the Officers were choſen) for conferring one with another, were not continued as formerly, I never abſented my ſelfe, but upon ſome neceſſary hindrance, which was not often.
As for ſlighting of the Officers――
I anſwer, that I gave them ſo much honour as was due unto them according to my power; if they had not ſo much as they deſired, let them conſider whether they did not deſire more then they deſerved. They that rule well, are worthy of double honour.
3d Charge. The Cenſoriouſneſs of her Spirit was evidēenced in her uncharitable language cōoncerning the Preſbyterians, and us alſo: reporting one to be fallen from the faith, another to have nothing of God in her; charging Mr. Stoneham to have walked contrary to the Apoſtles counſell, 2 Cor. 4. 2. And to have ſuch expreſſions in preaching and prayer, as were but as chaffe to the wheat. And imputing the afflictions of ſome of the church to their unworthy receiving of the Lords body. Theſe were proved by many witneſſes, and her own letters.Anſ. 82 F6v 8082
Anſ. As to the firſt Article, which concernes the Presbyterians, I anſwer, I muſt acknowledge & confeſſe, that difference in judgement did likewiſe cauſe ſome breach in affection, that I was too much ſwayed with a ſpirit of ſeparation, which made mee prone to cenſure thoſe who differed from mee in judgment more then was fit, which I have cauſe to bewaile and lament. But yet I cannot but wonder that Mr Stucley ſhould be ſo farre blinded with paſſion, as to cenſure mee for this, when it is well knowne that neither himſelfe, nor any of his Congregation, are in a capacity to fling ſo much as one ſtone at mee upon this account. It is now the fifth time hee hath mentioned the Presbyterians in his threefold Accuſation; for what reaſon, though he himſelfe knowes beſt, yet others cannot be ignorant of, and as for the hope he puts in this, I believe it will prove but a Spiders web. I ſhall onely adde this, That if my Tongue were againſt the Presbyterians, ſo would my hand likewiſe, had I harkened to Mr Stucley.
As to my uncharitable language concerning themſelves, he doth inſtance in ſeverall particulars, which I ſhall anſwer in that order he layes them downe, having deſired him in the generall to conſider thoſe reproachfull, bitter, unchriſtian Raylings againſt Mris Allen and my ſelfe, wherewith both his Pamphlets are full, and ſee whether 83F7r 8183 whether they doe not farre exceed all the hard ſpeeches I have given of them.
As for the particulars they are (viz.) 1. My reporting one to be fallen from the faith.
Reſol. I do not remember that ever I uſed ſuch an expreſſion in reference to any of them, as (fallen from the faith.) There was (its true) one, concerning whom, when they were about to chooſe him to be an Officer, I ſaid, that I did feare he was not ſound in the faith, for which I had good ground, neither did I hereby intend to reproach that perſon, but to prevent the evill that might follow, in caſe one not ſound in the faith were choſen an Officer.
2ly. That another had nothing of God in her.
Reſol. I never heard the leaſt hint from them of any ſuch expreſſion, neither do I remember that I ever uſed it concerning any among them. If it be that perſon which I admoniſhed, that is meant by Mr Stucley, as I have ſome ground to conjecture, for I cannot conceive who it ſhould be elſe. Then I ſay that it is a groſſe miſtake, if no worſe, to affirme that I reported, that ſhee had nothing of God in her.
Shee was a perſon that pretended to a great deale of Aſſurance, whereupon I was willing to have ſome conference with her, to know if ſhee had any ground for ſuch an aſſurance. To this I was the more willing, becauſe a member of the Church did ſomewhat queſtion it, who deſired me 84F7v 8384 me to try whether it were ſo or no, which I did: in my diſcourſe I told her, that they who had this aſſurance knew how they came by it, that where there is aſſurance, there is likewiſe adherence, a cloſing with the promiſes, the workings whereof will be evident to that ſoul which hath attained it, that therefore ſhe ſhould do well to look to the ground of her confidence, and be ſure that ſhe had Scripture for it. What her anſwers were I ſhall not here mention; but it ſeemes ſhe did not like this my plaine and faithfull dealing with her, as appeares by her complaining of it to ſome, who hereupon have now accuſed mee for being ſo cenſorious as to affirme that ſhe had nothing of God in her, which is falſe; yea, I was ſo unwilling to diſhearten her, as that I told her, that grace was in the hidden man of the heart, and not diſcernable many times where it is, though aſſurance hath alwayes its evidence. Had I knowne that they had been offended with me for this, I ſhould have given them a full Account of what paſſed between us, whereby they would have knowne the truth of what was reported concerning her: this had beene farre better then to accuſe mee for it ſo many yeares after.
3. As to that of Mr. Stoneham &c.
Reſol. I muſt confeſſe that when Mr Stoneham refuſed to declare the End of that faſt mentioned in my Narrative, I did look upon it 85F8r 8285 it as walking in Craftineſſe, contrary to that of the Apoſtle, 2 Cor. 4. 2.
And as to his Expreſsions in preaching &c. I conceived Mr. Stucley the fitteſt to admoniſh him of his weakneſſe; and therefore in a letter, I wrot unto him theſe following words. I ſhall intreat you to ſpeak to Mr. Stoneham of thoſe Expreſſions he doth often uſe to expreſſe ſpirituall things by; the word (I conceive) is fitteſt to expreſſe ſpirituall myſteries and duties: I am ſure that is the ſword of the Spirit, and that is able to make the man of God perfect, throughly furniſhed to all good works. The more wiſe the preacher was, the more he ſought to teach the people wiſdome, and to find out acceptable words, words of wiſdome, that are as nailes and goads faſtned by the maſter of the Aſſembly: I muſt confeſſe I cannot cloſe with his Expreſſions which are uſuall and ordinary both in prayer and preaching, which is as the Chaffe to the wheate; and what is the chaffe to the wheat? I ſhould ſpeak to him my ſelfe, but I fear he will not hear it from me.
The ground on which I went, was that of the Apoſtle: ſay to Archippus, take heed to thy miniſtry that thou fulfill it. Would it have been an ingenuous returne of Archippus to cenſure, ſuſpend, or excommunicate a perſon for giving him ſuch an admonition? let Mr. Stucley judge.
Laſtly, concerning my imputing the afflictionon 86F8v 8486 on of ſome of the church to their unworthy receiving &c.
Reſol. For anſwer hereunto, I ſhall here ſet down what I wrote in the ſame letter concerning it, viz.
It is and hath been a great trouble to me, that there is no meanes of inſtructing by Catechiſing, which is like, in my apprehenſion, to put a ſtop in the way of the Goſpell. And I conceive the ordinance of the Lords ſupper cannot be kept pure, without inſtructing thoſe that are of the Church, younger ones eſpecially, in the myſtery of diſcerning the Lords body: for this many are weake and ſick, the Apoſtle laies it down as a Cauſe of that ſickneſſe and death that was amongſt them. For my part it is my feare that the Lord hath a controverſie with us for not diſcerning the Lords body, and not judging our ſelves. Surely the Lords hand that is upon us, and thoſe afflictions that have been upon me, hath put me upon ſerious enquiry after the Lord in his word; and I am afraid we do not walk up to our own principles, and keep the ordinances pure.
Behold Mr. Stucley’s diſcretion and ingenuity in cenſuring me for cenſuring my ſelfe, which I did in that letter as well as others. I did impute the afflictions on my ſelfe and them, either to the omitting of the administration of the Lords ſupper for a long time, without giving any 87G1r 8587 any reaſon; or to our not diſcerning the Lords body, which I was perſwaded that many amongſt us by reaſon of their ignorance could not do, I did verily think that the Lord was angry with us for this. I was ſo ſenſible of Gods afflicting hand, as that I could not but diſcover my fear unto Mr. Stucley, that he might ſet upon reforming what was amiſſe, for I thought I had herein to do with Chriſtians, and not with Scorners: it was the leaſt of my thoughts, that ever I ſhould be cenſured for it.
Having finiſhed his threefold charge, he proceeds to adde ſomewhat concerning my contumacious refuſall of admonition in pag. 45. of his Anſwer to Mr. Toby Allen, in theſe words: I might tell thee I have ſeverall times endeavoured to convince her of her ſin, yet I doe not remember that ever ſhe acknowledged her ſelfe guilty, and that ſeverall perſons that were ſent to her (or that went voluntarily) about the worke of admonition, came away from her with a burdned ſpirit. But I ſhall referre thee to 20 & 21 pag: of my Sermon in the true Account &c.
Here he tells the world that I refuſed admonition, firſt from himſelfe, ſecondly from others, and then refers the Reader for farther Satisfaction to the true Account, &c.
1 As to his admonition he ſaith, I might tell thee I have ſeverall times &c.G Reſol. 88 G1v 8688
Reſol, You cannot tell this without telling a lye, for I was never admoniſhed by you for any ſin that I continued in after admonition, either before my leaveing you or ſince.
Not before. This you acknowledged to me when I asked, whether you had ever admoniſhed me, you told me you had not: this you confeſſed to Mr. Ford and Mr. Bartlett.
Not ſince. For I could never ſpeak with you, after you had accuſed me of lying.
Its true you admoniſhed me for hearing another miniſter; but that this is a ſin, you dare not (it ſeems) affirme or maintaine: for it is not ſo much as named among thoſe Crimes laid to my charge either in the true account, or in your Anſwer to Mr. Toby Allen. And therefore what reaſon is there that I ſhould acknowledge my ſelfe guilty?
2 As to the Second (viz.) that ſeverall perſons that were ſent unto her &c. came away with burdened Spirits.
Reſol. The errand they came about was not to admoniſh me for lying &c. But partly to take me off from hearing other miniſters, and ſince I left them to perſwade me back again: it was my not conſenting unto them in this, that made them go away with a burthen’d ſpirit, and not becauſe of my proud and loftie Carriage (as he ſaith pag. 20 True Acc:) for I alwaies treated with them Civilly, returning them 89G2r 8789 them thanks ſeverall times for their (pretended love) to me; I never baulkt diſcourſe with them. And alwaies at their departing, ſaid, let me be convinced from the word what my duty is, and I ſhall ſubmit.
I deſired the Elder before the faſt in order to their Excommunication, and ſince that faſt others alſo, that they would bring the buſineſſe to a new Triall before the miniſters, whom they themſelves had acquainted with it formerly, and with whom I was then in Communion: had the Inceſtuous perſon done ſo, I am perſwaded he would never have been delivered to Satan.
The letter likewiſe ſent Mr. Stucley by Mris. Allen and my ſelfe makes it evident, that neither of us contemptuouſly refuſed admonition according to the rule of Chriſt.
3 As for his referring the reader to pag. 20. 21. of the true Account, as if there were other Crimes mentioned there, for brevities ſake he omitted here, I ſay.
That in pag. 20 of the True (which yet ſome think to be a very defective) Account, there is only one Crime mentioned, which he hath not accuſed me of here in this other Book, and that is my unfaithfulneſſe in not reproving privately.
Charge.I am confident (ſaith he) that there is ſcarce one Brother or Siſter that can bear witneſſe of her faithfulneſſe in Reproving G2private- 90G2v 8890 privately, though ſhe ſo much Blazon’d abroad ſuppoſed or reall infirmities, &c.
Reſol. 1, I am Confident that ſome can (if they will not hold the truth in unrighteouſneſſe) bear witneſſe of my faithfulneſſe in reproving them privately, I reproved Mr. Raddon and his wife, Mr Eveleighs maide, yea Mr. Eveleigh himſelfe, both privately, and publickly when his offence was publick, according to that of the Apoſt. 1 Tim. 5. 20. And if none of theſe will witneſſe, yet Mr Stucley himſelfe can, if he call himſelfe to mind, he can bear me witneſſe, that I reproved him for his indifferency of Spirit in the worke of God, for his preaching funerall Sermons, for his Serpentine ſubtilty in his Entrance on his Office, and in reference to his Carriage in Mr. Madder’s buſineſſe, yea he hath witneſſed that I reproved him for the unrighteous ſentence in reference to A.P.
2 As for Blazoning abroad their ſuppoſed or reall infirmities, I know not what he meanes, or of what thing he ſpeaks it, whether whiles I was with them, or ſince I left them.
If he mean thereby that when I was among them, I did diſcover the nakedneſſe of a Brother or Siſter to others who were not in Communion with us, I ſay it is falſe, and dare him to inſtance ſo much as in one particular.
If by abroad, he meane others of the Society, I acknowledge it. But then it was to ſuch as by 91G3r 8991 by reaſon of their intimacy and familiarity with the offendors might in all probability prevaile, more with them then I could. And for this very reaſon did I ſeveral times addreſſe my ſelfe to Mr. Stucley, which he acknowledgeth a litle before this charge, though, through Envy, he call it an Impeachment and accuſe me for it, though I had the houſe of Cloe for my Example.
Laſtly, If (By abroad) he meane that I have divulged their miſcarriages to others ſince I left them, To this I anſwer.
That even ſince my leaveing them, It was my deſire to continue a good opinion of many among them: So unwilling was I to make knowen that which might blemiſh any of them, As that I ſuffered in mine owne name, by concealing their miſcarriages, untill ſuch time as it was noiſed abroad, that I had not left them, but that they had caſt me out as a lyer, a contentious and a troubleſome perſon, whom they could no longer Suffer, nor have communion with: Then indeed I did begin to pull off their masking robes and vizards, as Mr Stucley expreſſeth it in the true Account, that ſo it might appeare to the world, how unlikely it was, that ſuch (as many of them were) ſhould caſt off any up on the Account of lying. Againe,
Charge. In pag. 21. He brings in a paſſionate expreſſion of mine in theſe words, And being farther 92G3v 9092 farther preſſed to heare the Church, ſhe refuſed, and (if my memory faile not) ſhe ſaid, She would be drawn aſunder by wild horſes rather then come among us.
Reſol. I confeſſe the expreſſion, whether there were not cauſe for it, let others judge, they having dealt ſo baſely with mee as to accuſe me of lying, when I went unto them a little before to give them a reaſon why I left them. A burnd child (we ſay) dreads the fire: I had been burnd once by adventuring ſingly among them, therefore I durſt not do it againe the ſecond time. So that Mr Stucley needed not here to inſert this parentheſis (if my memory faile me not) it would have done better in all the other Articles of his accuſation, in which, if his memory did not faile him, he will never be able to free himſelfe from that, for which he pretends he hath Excommunicated mee.
But that I did not refuſe to heare the Church, the ſeverall anſwers I gave to the meſſengers ſent me can witneſſe. Beſides, when M. Eveleigh came to acquaint mee with the Faſt, in order to Excōommunication. I deſired that the buſineſſe my might be referred to Mr Forde, and Mr Bartlet, who had formerly heard it: and after the Faſt I told two other of their members, that they ſhould bring it to a new tryall before the Miniſters of Exeter with whom I was in Communion, promiſing to ſtand to their determination.The 93 G4r 9193
The letter likewiſe Mris Allen and my ſelfe ſent the Church, doth witneſſe ſufficiently, that neither of us refuſed to heare the Church.
Unto this Charge he addes that of ſeparation.
Charge. And though ſhee had lifted up her right hand to heaven to heaven walk in fellowſhip with us, yet hath ſhe ſeparated from us, and to this day ſought not reconciliation, neither hath ſhee expreſſed Repentance for her Sinne, &c.
Reſol. This is likewiſe confeſt and acknowledged that I Seperated from them, The grounds of my Separation are layed downe in my narrative. To which I ſhall farther adde.
1. That there was a clauſe in our firſt Engagement binding every one of us not to reſt in the light then received, but to Studie to knowe the minde of God, and live up to it, and ſo accordingly haveing Studied the minde of God, concerning our ſeparation from other Churches of Chriſt, I founde it to be Sinfull, and therefore durſt no longer to continue therein.
2.If I engaged ſo to walke in fellowſhip with you as to deny it to others of Gods people, of which there are many (I hope) in this Citty, I am Sorry for it, and to ſhew my Repentance I have reformed, by leaveing your Society. in which I could not continue without the guilt of Sin, If a man ſhould promiſe, yea Sweare to that, which is Sin he had better to break then to keepe his oath.Yea 94 G4v 9294
yYea we were likewiſe engaged to hold communion with other Churches of Chriſt; But this is now denyed, unleſſe it be with thoſe that are Congregationall.
As for what he addes concerning my not expreſſing repentance for my ſin: &c.
Reſol.I ſhall anſwer with Job: c. 27. God forbid that I ſhould juſtify you (by confeſſing that which I am not guilty of) till I die, I will not remove my integrity from me. My righteouſneſſe (as to your impeachment) I hold faſt, and will not let it goe: my heart ſhall not reproach me (for baſely ſubmitting to any thing againſt my conſcience) ſo long as I live.
In pag. 23. He ſpeaks of my undervaluing, Excommunication & ſlighting it, in theſe words (viz.)
The other (meaning me) as little valued this Inſtitution of Chriſt for (as I am informed) ſhe ſaid, Excommunication was but as the breaking of a horſe over the hedge, &c.
Reſol. I have been heretofore, and am at preſent ſo far from ſlighting excommunication rightly adminiſtred, as that it makes me tremble to behold my ſelfe accuſed thereof, as if I ſlighted the ordinance it ſelfe: I look on it as an ordinance of Jeſus Chriſt, as that Sword which he hath given his Church for the cutting off contagious members, as that, which he hath appointed and ordained to as high an end (for ought 95G5r 9395 ought I know) as any other ordinance, (viz) the deſtruction of the fleſh, that the ſpirit may be ſaved in the day of the Lord Jeſus.
And as for the ſlighting expreſsion concerning this ordinance, with which he chargeth me.
I ſay it is a notorious ſlander, as he hath laid it down, the truth is, that to ſome, who ſpake about excommunication I told them how it had been formerly abuſed in this nation by many who (as it was reported) would excommunicate for ſuch a Treſpaſſe, as a horſe to break over a hedge; and farther added, that I valued an unjuſt excommunication no more then I did that: and becauſe I look on Mr Stucleys late excommunication as ſuch, therefore do I ſet light by it: as Luther did by the Popes bull, for which he was never charged by any Proteſtant: in doing of which I am no more to be condemned for ſlighting this ordinance in generall then he. It will be found upon triall that Mr Stucley hath a farre lower eſteeme of this ordinance, then my ſelfe, otherwiſe he would never have ſo abuſed it as he hath, for the promoting his own intereſt and carnall deſignes, which is the ready way to make it contemptible, in the Judgment and opinion of thoſe who are not well acquainted with it.
Thus I have done with the true account, and now returne to what he ſaith farther concerning me in his anſwer to Mr Toby Allen: pag. 45. Her 96G5v 9496 Her Crimes and contumacy being very great: the Church thought themſelves obliged to ſuſpend her from Communion before ever ſhe joyned in the Sacrament with any other.
Reſol. That this Suſpenſion was for no other crimes or contumacy, then my leaving them, and my refuſeing to returne unto them: And therefore it was not thought ſufficient to debarre me from communion with others of Gods people in this City, by thoſe who heard the whole buſineſſe, and throughly examined the Circumſtances there of.
Char. In the next place he chargeth Mr Allen with a lye, for affirming. That the Quarrell between the Church and me began, becauſe I had a mind to heare ſome other miniſters which (he ſaith) is abominably falſe, and farther, that this was no particular for which I was ever admoniſhed by the Church in pag. 45. 46. And again, he ſaith, That the Quarrell began in my contentious Spirit and ſowing Diviſions, and was increaſed by lying.
Reſ. 1 That I was admoniſhed, for hearing other miniſters, by the Church it is manifeſt by what is allready ſet down.
2 That the quarrell did not begin in my contentious Spirit, and ſowing diviſions; nor was encreaſed by lying: it is alſo apparent, as for lying, I was never charged with it till I left them: and as for contention, &c. I never medled with Church 97G6r 9597 Church affaires after the officers were choſen unleſſe it were once in reference to a perſon propoſed, when Ganicle interrupted me.
The Qurarell Brake out at a Tueſdayes meeting, Mr. Stucley was abſent from that meeting and ſo knowes nothing of it but by the report of others, it ſo much concerning mee, I have reaſon to know it better then others: The account whereof according to my beſt Remembrance is this.
On the day before, being munday after dynner Mr. Stonham and his wife came to viſit me, Before I could come to them, my husband, in diſcourſing with them ſayed, that I had heard Mr. Ford the day before, when I came into the Roome, Mr Stonham looked on me with an Angry countenance and would ſcarce Speak, whereupon I asked his wife what did aile him, who anſwered that he was not well pleaſed with me for my goeing away to heare, ſhe told me likewiſe that he did not like Mr Eveleighs maide, and farther added, that ſhe heard that I had ſomewhat againſt her, ſhe is (ſaid I) a ſtranger unto me, and therefore it is my deſire that ſhe may be kept off one week longer untill I have informed my ſelfe concerning her, Then (ſaid ſhe) do you be preſent at the meeting to ſpeak to have her kept off, this ſhe deſired with much earneſtneſſe.
On the Tueſdaie following after dinner MrSprague98G6v9698 Spraigue the younger came to me frōom Mr Stoneham (as he ſaid) who had been with him the day before, and deſired him to take me off from hearing Mr Ford. To this end (among other things) he told me, that thoſe ſheep, which had been uſed to meane feeding, were not fit for fat pasſture, it was the way to bring them to the ſcab: he likewiſe ſpake ſomething about Mr Eveleighs maid, and earneſtly deſired me to be at the meeting. I told him that I then lay under ſome trouble of ſpirit, and ſo could not be fit for ſuch an Imployment, however upon his earneſt intreaty, I fitted my ſelfe to goe.
When I was come, they began (contrarie to their uſuall practice) to talke of the maid, before ever the Lord had been ſought unto in prayer: Mr Owen, ſitting at the table neer me, I willed him to acquaint them, that it was my deſire ſhe might be kept off a week longer (as I remember) untill I had informed my ſelfe concerning her.
Mr Eveleigh, preſently replyed, that he would give Teſtimony for her: I told him that a maſter or ſuperior was not ſo fit to give Teſtimony for a ſervant or inferior, and withall inſtanced in Gehazi, who carried himſelfe fairly in his maſters preſence.
After this one Ambroſe a ſhoomaker was propoſed, who (it ſeemes) wrought with Ganicle, concerning whom Mr Eveleigh asked me whetherther 99G7r 9799 ther I had any thing againſt him? I anſwered that I had nothing, and alſo that though he were a ſtranger unto me, yet I had heard a good report of him: upon which Ganicle ſaid that I would take his Teſtimony for his man, and not M. Eveleighs for his maid, yea (ſaid Mr Eveleigh) that is the very thing, becauſe it is my Teſtimony, therefore ſhe will not take it, adding farther that it was ſcandalous, and that I was offenſive or contentious, and had hindred their Proceedings for many yeares, inſomuch as he could not partake with me in the Ordinances, untill he was ſatisfied.
I replyed, that this would not be borne, and that if my carriage had bin ſo offenſive, I ſhould have heard of it, in ſome other place and in ſome other manner: and then I preſently appealed to all the Congregation deſiring them to be faithfull unto me, as they would Anſwer it another day, by declaring wherein my carriage had been offenſive, and what evils they had ſeen in me: And when I perceived they were unwilling to meddle in it, I told them plainly, that I would come no more among them, unleſs they would ſatisfie me herein.
At length Mr Stoneham began his prayer after this manner: Lord, we have waited for a prayer, and now thou haſt given us in a prayer, it may be, the returne of many prayers, and then bewailed that the ſerpent was gotten into the garden: After 100G7v 98100 After the prayer, Mr. Eveleigh and my ſelfe were to withdraw; but Mr Eveleigh (before he went out) told them, he left it to the Church to determine, whether I were not contentious. Two things (ſaid he) I have againſt her, Contention, and her going away to hear Mr Ford, which the Church neither can, nor will bear. And he farther charged John Whitehorne (the chiefeſt then in this buſineſſe) that he ſhould inſiſt upon Contention, and if he wanted an Inſtance, that he ſhould name Agnes Pullen.
When we were withdrawne, the generality of them ſaid, they did believe I was a good woman &c. But then they were asked againe, whether through a mixture of Corruption it might not tend to Contention? to which this reply was made, That they did not know but it might. Mr. Stoneham told me, that they would not for a world charge me with contention, but did fear leſt through a mixture of Corruption, it might tend thereunto.
Many of them were offended with the Elders dealing ſo diſorderly with me, but knew not how to help it, and deſired me to take no notice of it.
By all which it appeares
1 That they were very much diſpleaſed with me for hearing others beſides our own Officers, though they were unwilling to quarrell with me openly about it. Mr. Eveleigh (tis 101G8r 99101 (tis true) accuſed me thereof at this meeting, but (as I am informed) ſome of them did very much diſlike his mentioning of that particular; and refuſed to medle with it, becauſe they thought it fitter to be concealed, then that it ſhould be publickly taken notice of.
2 That it is very probable they had a reſolution (ſome of them) to quarrell with me about Mr. Eveleigh’s maid, in caſe I could not be prevailed with to leave off hearing of other miniſters, why elſe ſhould they be ſo earneſt with me (after I had given a ſufficient Excuſe for my abſence) to be preſent at the meeting? why elſe ſhould Mr. Stoneham uſe ſuch expreſſions in his prayer.
3 That although Mr Eveleigh at this time (when the Quarrell brake out) accuſed me of Contention; yet that the Quarrell did not begin in my contentious ſpirit, and ſowing diviſions, is apparent. 1 Becauſe I did no more then Mr Stoneham approved of, and Mris. Stoneham deſired me to do; ſo that I could be no more contentious in oppoſing Mr. Eveleighs mayd, then they. 2 This buſineſſe was ended in three daies; they had nothing after this againſt me, but my hearing other miniſters, as Mr. Eveleigh himſelfe told me.
4 And therefore notwithſtanding the quarrell brake out at the time, when I oppoſed Mr. Eveleigh’s maid, yet it is very apparent that it began, 102G8v 100102 began, was continued, carried on, and increaſed even to a breach, only for my hearing of another miniſter: for as to the charge of lying I never heard of it till my coming off, as I have already declared.
In the next place he takes ſhame to himſelfe, that he did not ſooner excite the church to their duty, as to the laſt Remedy for the healing of this woman, &c.
Reſol.I believe in the end he will ſee more cauſe to take ſhame to unto himſelfe, in that he hath ſo raſhly excited them to this cenſure, before he ever diſcharged the duty of admonition.
Let him conſider whether he hath not run before the Lord ſent him, let him produce his warrant to Excommunicate, before ever he proved the Crime, or admoniſhed me of the Evills, for which he ſaies I am Excommunicated.
He addes, that there are ſome full of evill ſurmiſes about this matter, as if the Church would never have proceeded againſt her, but upon a deſigne to hinder others from deſerting us.
Reſol.It is no ſurmiſe, for
1 One of their own Officers (Mr. Slade by name) talking with an Alderman of this City about this Excommunication, told him that if they had proceeded againſt me ſooner, Mris. Allen would not have left them.2 Mr. 103 H1r 101103
2 Mr. Stucley doth not in plain termes deny it. And though that which follows concerning the unquietneſse of his ſpirit about my not Repenting may imply a deniall, yet
3It is that which he hath in a manner acknowledged in pag. 10. of the True Account, in theſe words, If we had diſcharged our duty ſooner on the lyar, we might have prevented the others fall, her diſobedience and perverſeneſse of ſpirit.
As for that he profeſſeth, he had no quiet in his Spirit, that a Perſon ſhould lie ſo long ſuſpended, and give no Evidence of Repentance, but the Contrarie &c.
Reſol: The Suſpenſionwas two moneths after I had left them; the meſſenger that was ſent to give me notice thereof ſayd it was in order to my Returne, a Returne to them, this is the Repentance they expected, and I reſolved againſt, unleſſe (as I told the Elder) I might have communion with them, and not to ſeparate from others that were godly.
But what quiet can Mr Stucley have now, that he hath paſſed a Sentence of Excommunication without admonition, ſeeing I ſo earneſtly deſired it? vwhat comfort can he have in paſſing this Cenſure three yeares wanting a few daies after I had left them? when as in all probability by reaſon of forgetfulneſſe, there could not be a charging of ſin, ſo as to convince and work a kindly Repentance.
If his conſcience had troubled him, becauſe H of 104H1v 102104 of my lying in Sin, without evidencing Repentance, then his conſcience is either blind or baffled; elſe why had not his conſcience checkt him, when he diſcovered no zeale againſt lying, when he was ſo often preſt unto it by me? why had not his conſcience troubled him, when there was a lye affirmed with ſo much Confidence by John Whitehorne, when he offered to depoſe it upon Oath, and yet there was clear Teſtimony brought by ſome of their members to prove it to be a lye? this perſon is under his charge, yet here his conſcience hath not diſquieted him.
And for what he addes, That to quiet his conſcience he tooke advice with ſeverall Miniſters, and ſo concluded the matter by them and his own Conſcience.
Reſol. 1. Why did he go ſo farre away? had he deſired to have the truth brought to light, then why ſhould he refuſe to adviſe with thoſe Miniſters that he himſelfe acquainted with the buſineſſe; and when I ſo often deſired them to bring it to a new tryall before them, with a promiſe to ſubmit unto their determinations, without expecting any favour from them.
2. How could thoſe Miniſters (whoever they be) perſwade him to ſuch a cenſure, without adviſing him to bring the buſineſſe to a Triall, without hearing both parties ſpeake? will not Feſtus riſe up in judgement againſt them? Did theſe Miniſters in their advice duly weigh the weight 105H2r 103105 weight of this Ordinance, and the pretiouſneſſe of ſoules for which Chriſt did Sweat, Bleed and died, for which hee ever lives to make interceſſion? Durſt they upon the Report of one partie without Examination, give ſuch advice in a corner? the Lord lay not this ſin to their charge: ’Tis not the firſt time that Satan hath made uſe of ſuch inſtruments, Chriſt ſaw him in a Peter &c. I confeſſe it would have been more eaſily borne, if they had been ſuch as have not knowne the Father, nor the Lord Jeſus, that had given this wicked advice; but that it ſhould come from them, who have (or at leaſt pretend to) more acquaintance with Chriſt then others, this is as the Vineger and the Gall.
Charg. p. 47. In the laſt place hee gives the world a Catalogue of lying defamations, ſpoken by mee ſince my Suſpenſion.
Reſol. As for thoſe lying defamations, I anſwer briefly: That many of thoſe Reports are no lying Defamations, but manifeſt truths, as I have made it already to appeare in my Narrative and Vindication; and make no queſtion but ſhall be able to do the like of the reſt, if called unto it, even as many of them as he ſhall prove to proceed from mee, farre better then Mr Stucley will be able to make good (in a regular and orderly proceeding) thoſe ſlanderous reports concerning mee, with which he hath filled the world, notwithſtanding he boaſts ſo much of witneſſes, at the end almoſt of every Charge.
And now I ſuppoſe the Reader is ſufficiently tired with peruſing an unpleaſing and broken Hiſtory, I H2 ſhall 106H2v 104106 ſhall therefore now haſten to an End.
If the Goſpell be the great Salvation that is delivered by Chriſt himſelfe, and the Revelation of it compleated, and it be once delivered to the Saints, and no other Revelation to be expected till Chriſt come, and this Salvation being ſo glorious, as that the Angels deſire to look into it, and there being ſuch a Curſe by Chriſt pronounced on ſuch as ſhall adde to it, or take from it, then let it ſerve as an Apology for me in my learning of them. This was that which I did deſire and aime at, that I might be inſtructed in the myſtery of this great Salvation, God manifeſt in the fleſh &c. Tis that was in my eye, and that I ſtill follow after (although I have not yet attained) to comprehend with all Saints what is the bredth, and length, and depth, and heighth, and to know the love of Chriſt, which paſſeth knowledge; yet through grace this was, and is that one thing, that I may know Chriſt and him crucified, and that I may with the Apoſtle Phil. 3. 12, 13, 14. know him, and the power of his Reſurrection, and the fellowſhip of his Sufferings, ſo as to be made conformable to his death, that I may know this great myſtery which hath been hid from other ages, but is now revealed unto us by the holy Apoſtles and Prophets by the Spirit, Eph. 3. 1. Know him ſo, as to bear about in my body the dying of the Lord Jeſus; that the life of Jeſus may be made manifeſt in this mortall fleſh, that the old man may be Crucified with him, that the body of Sin might be deſtroyed, that I might not ſerve ſin; This was that which to the glory of free grace I can ſay in ſome meaſure (if 107H3r 105107 (if my heart do not deceive me) was my deſire in Joyning with them, and in my withdrawing from them, I finding not a Sufficiency in their Miniſtry for edification and building up; and being diſapointed of my expectation in the miniſtry, and continuing my practice of hearing Mr Ford, ſometimes once a Lords day meerly out of neceſſity, and obſerving what they did after they were in office and ſetled themſelves, in ſtead of diſcovering their love and faithfulneſſe to the peoples ſoules in their diligent circumſpection and watchfulneſſe over them, and diſcovering to them the hidden myſteries of the Goſpell, they were very remiſſe, the worke they were imployed in was to exalt themſelves, and bring the people into Subjection unto them, ſilenceing ſome, and cenſuring others without allowing them any liberty to clear themſelves, ſuch as they ſuppoſed ſtood in their way, and when this was effected, then they proceeded farther to take them off from hearing any other miniſter, making that practice of hearing another miniſter, when themſelves preached, to be a going out of the Boſome of Chriſt into the Boſome of Strangers; and ſuch perſons were Traytors and Rebells to Jeſus Chriſt, and ſhould be ſo dealt withall; and what benefit was received by another miniſter to be a deluluſion and a Temptation, and a Judgment of God upon the ſoule. And ingaging the people at their admiſſion, to believe it as an Article of their faith, that a greater bleſſing was to be expected on their miniſtry, then on any others, as if they preached another Jeſus, or another Spirit, or another Goſpell: when the ApoſtleH3 ſtle 108H3v 106108 ſtle ſayeth, he that planteth and he that watereth are one, 1 Cor. 3. Was there not a cauſe to ſuſpect what they intended, but the liberty of diſſenting was denyed, and they proceeded to lay aſide their meetings for to conferre together, and to conſider one another, and the ordinance of the Supper, that was layd aſide a long time, faſting was perverted to carry on their own deſignes, and to keep the people ignorant of the occaſion and ground of their faſt.
I being troubled at this, and reſolved not to be Silent to ſee what was done by them, but rather to ſuffer, did diſcover my diſlike of theſe practiſes, and blamed them to their faces for walking in craftineſſe, contrary to the Apoſtle, 2 Cor. 4. 2. and perverting and laying aſide of the ordinances, then inſteed of giving me any ſatisfaction (as I expected) did they craftily conſpire to entangle me, to fall to diſpute about true Churches. And to ſeek occaſion againſt me, to defame me, and as if there had not been ſufficient above ground, rakt up the dead out of her grave, and made matter to frame an accuſation againſt me, for doing that which themſelves the generality of them did the ſame, as ſome of them have ſince acknowledged, and in what they accuſed me Mr Stuckley himſelfe cleared me, and here is the ground of all their charge of ſcandall, which how cruell, and unjuſt, and unreaſonable it is, I leave to the impartiall reader to Judge.
Thus ſeeing Goſpell priviledges, purity of ordinances, and liberty of conſcience lay a bleeding, and they walking contrary to their principles, and often engagements, and having no way to free my ſelfe from 109H4r 107109 from partaking with them in their evils, not only the liberty of ſpeaking but of diſsenting being denied, unles it were purchaſed upon ſuch termes as their enſnaring of me, and of looſeing peace and a good name, I not daring to make it known to other members, leſt I ſhould be accounted contentious, having had experience of the people formerly, and ſeeing the officers to be maſters of the ordinance, inſteed of diſpenſors, and to lord it over Gods heritage, as if they had dominion over our faith: after often ſeeking of the Lord and enquiry in his word according to that light I had received, after I had declared my reſolution and my grounds to the elder, I withdrew, according to the Apoſtles rule, 1 Theſ: Hoping that by my withdrawing they might be more convinc’t, and that in time the Lord would make them ſenſible of their uſurpations, when they ſaw what effects were produced, and ſo might put a ſtop for time to come to ſuch proceedings: and though I could expect little favour from them, unleſſe the Lord did convince them, and ſo humble their Spirits, yet having the Teſtimony of mine own conſcience, that I could ſay in in ſome meaſure with the Apoſtle, herein did I exerciſe my ſelfe to have alwaies a conſcience void of offence towards God and towards man: and I conſidered that I ſhould hereby keep and preſerve mine own peace, in having no hand in exalting of men and ſo opening a way to bring in mens inventions, and to worſhip God according to the precepts of men.
And Mr Stucley himſelfe in his Sermon on that black and dark day hath acknowledged (as the Copie H4 taken 110H4v 108110 taken from his own mouth will teſtifie) that I ſeparated from them on pretence of conſcience, he might have left out the words (on pretence) unleſſe he take upon him to Judge the heart and conſcience, although Mr Mall in his printed True account (as he cals it) hath not afforded me ſo much charity as to put in that perticular.
And Mr Stucley himſelfe afterwards pag. 23. ſaith that I went away to avoid the cenſure; here he contradicts himſelfe more waies then one, for 1. If I went away to avoid the cenſure, then I could not ſeparate on pretence of conſcience, but if this be denyed (as the leaving it out of his printed Sermon may inferre ſo much) 2. If I went away to avoid the cenſure, then he muſt be forc’t to deny that I am excommunicated juſtly for lying, for how could I goe away to avoid the cenſure for lying, afore ever I knew I ſhould be charged with lying, for I was never charged by him with lying untill ſuch time as I had really withdrawen and ſeparated from them.
The like Mr Allen hath allready declared of his wife, pag. 24. of his Truths manifeſt, that the pretended crime or cauſe of excommunicating her, was in time long after ſhe left them.
Therefore (Reader) take notice of his groſſe contradiction of himſelfe in what he affirmes.
And whereas he pretends that he had no quiet in his ſpirit that a perſon ſhould lie ſo long ſuſpended and give no evidence of Repentance, and in his prayer, that they have not paſt their cenſure in a revengefull way, and that they could not anſwer the neglect of their cenſure one day longer.If 111 H5r 109111
If it be ſo, why muſt he take liberty to himſelfe to defame me in my name, if it were the ſinne only he aymd at? & why did he uſe ſuch Epithites, as, diſcont¯ented lyer, notorious lyer, egregious lyer, Bryer in our ſides, companion for damned ſpirits, when as his conſcience muſt needs tell him, that he never accuſed me of one lie all thoſe years that I was in fellowſhip with them: And if he found me guilty of a lye, let him produce what lye it was, I never heard of any yet, whiles I was with them, and when ſince I left them, he charged me at firſt, it was then with an untruth.
And although I deſired in our letter ſent them to have the cauſe heard by underſtanding and impartiall men and promiſt to Submit, yet he ſlighted that, and hath taken libertie in pulpit and in print to render our names and our perſons odious to all the world, as if the ſword of excommunication had not been ſharp enough, unleſſe it were ſharpned by him at the Philiſtins forge, and in the meane time takes liberty to himſelfe to practice that for which he pretends he hath cenſured me for lying, I could inſtance in ſeverall of their charges that they are no other but lies.
Not to mention the ſeverall reports that have been ſpread concerning me, as not worth the taking notice of, which have one contradicted the other, and not two of the Reporters found in one tale, as hath been taken notice of (as I am informed) by a perſon of credit, this is not worth the taking notice of.
But that falſe report that hath been raiſed by them and ſpread in citty and countrie on Mr Ford the miniſter,niſter, 112H5v 110112 niſter, that he ſhould ſlight lying, and that ſay lying was the property of a woman.
Whereas the truth is, that when Mr Ford and Mr Bartlet Miniſters, and Mr Stucley and Mr Eveleigh were met at Mr Fords houſe, Mr Stucley and Mr Eveleigh accuſed me of Scandall, and brought in a charge of lying againſt me, inſtancing in Mris Eveleigh and my ſpeaking againſt the Presbyterians (which I have allready anſwered) Mr Ford ſtill cald for more, more charge: then to make up their accuſation, they ſaid that I was fickle, Mr Ford anſwered them, that is as much as to ſay, ſhe is a woman, this I know to be the truth; and yet the report is ſpread by them in City and Country, that he ſaid that lying was the property of a woman: and herein have they diſcovered their falſehood and rage againſt ſuch an Eminent labourer in Chriſts Vineyard, who hath given abundant Teſtimony that he ſeeks not himſelfe but the things of Chriſt.
And as for Contention, how hath Mr Stucley diſcovered himſelfe guilty to all the world, Doeg like, falling on Magiſtrates and Miniſters whom he ſuppoſeth ſtands in his way, as his Sermon and printed books do witneſſe.
Give me leave to take notice of it, as David, when he heard how Saul had cut off the Lords Prieſts (ſaith he) I have occaſioned the death of all theſe.
And for Cenſoriouſneſſe, how doth it appeare? not by ſecret ſearch, but upon their ſeverall Accuſations, wherein the greateſt ground of their proceedings againſt me, hath been a cenſuring of the ends of my words 113H6r 111113 words and actions, which is Gods prerogative alone, who ſearcheth the heart, and tryeth the reines.
Let the Impartiall Reader judge whether they ſought the glory of Chriſt, & to convince me of this ſin, whēen it is that which was & yet is uſually practiſed by themſelves. Witneſſe their uſuall calling Mr Fords preaching Rayling and nonſence; and ſome of them would have the Pulpit ſhut againſt Mr Ford, and would have had the notes of his Sermons to pick occaſion againſt him, and perſwaded me not to hear him; and I was queſtioned many times for hearing of him, not only the Lords daies, but on Lecture daies alſo.
I cannot but take notice of Mr Mall in his reaſons preſſing them to renew their Covenant.
He ſaith, ſuch poor wretches are given up to Judiciall hardneſſe, ſo that they are ſorry for nothing ſo much, as that they with ſuch a Church entred into Covenant with God; and again, ſuch wretches they have renewed their Covenant with hell and Satan.
For anſwer, what Covenant I have entred into with God, whether with them or any other, I deſire ſtill to own and acknowledge, that I am engaged unto to performe, and am reſolved in the ſtrength of Chriſt never to retract. And if in any particular I have denyed my Covenant with God, it lies upon them to convince me of it. It is not enough for them to charge Covenant breaking, and perjury, and Schiſme: it lies upon them to prove their charge, otherwiſe I am not engaged to an Implicite faith to believe them.I 114 H6v 112114
I think our letter (we ſent to them) will teſtifie, that we did not retract our Covenant with God, when we did profeſſe our ſubmiſsion to the law and will of Chriſt, wherein I think we did own our Covenant with God more than they did, who by their Explicite Covenant engaged themſelves to an Implicite faith, in ſubjection to Mr Stucley’s miniſteriall guidance and teaching, without any reſtriction or limitation. And yet how doth he boaſt pag. 13. as if they were a company of believers that will part from life rather then from a little command, and their hands are fill’d with both Tables: is not this practice of theirs a contradiction to this profeſſion, & yet pag. 29. exhorting them to keep to the Church of Chriſt, he tells them he cannot but approve of their purpoſe to ſubſcribe a covenant, that will be a fence againſt a lawleſſe Spirit.
Moſes who was a ſervant in the houſe of God, and God teſtifies of him that he was faithfull in all the houſe of God; ſee Deut. 33. 4. Moſes commanded us a law, even the Inheritance of the congregation of Jacob.
Is not this fence againſt lawleſſe Spirits, that God hath preſcribed his Church ſufficient? but that Mr Stucley muſt engage the people to himſelfe, as if his deſigne were to ſeek himſelfe, and to eſpouſe a people to himſelfe, and not to Chriſt.
It was the commendation that the Apoſtle gives of his hearers, that they received the word with all readineſse of mind, and ſearched the Scriptures dayly, whether thoſe things be ſo or no: but here they Ingage to abſolute ſubjection to Mr Stucleys Miniſtry without any 115H7r 113115 any Caution, I the rather take notice of it, becauſe they may conſider, that whiles they are Cenſuring us, they forget themſelves, and their Engagements to Chriſt, and to his Lawes; that whereas they have profeſt the taking Chriſt for their King and Lawgiver, now they ſet up men in the roome of Chriſt, without any mention of the Law and Septer of Chriſt: And yet he pretends that his booke (called Manifeſt truth) is ſet forth by him to prevent the Goſpells ſuffering, although he ha th had a Bratherly admonition given him by the unknowne author, Diotrephes detected and Archippus admoniſhed, yet he never takes notice of this particular, to give any Satiſfaction unto it, or to remove the offence taken by it.
And now for a cloſe of all I ſhall deſire Mr Stucley to retyre himſelfe a little from the world and thoſe multitudes of deſignes hee is at preſent ſo much entangled with; having done this, ſeriouſly and ſadly conſider a while of that great day of accounts, wherein the hidden workes of darkneſse ſhall be fully diſcovered by him whoſe eyes are as a flame of fire: if he doth thinke in good earneſt that there is ſuch a day coming wherein he muſt by accountable for all his actions: let him I ſay, conſider what account he can give to Chriſt of his late proceedings againſt Mris Allen and my ſelfe; will it (thinks he) be enough to ſay, that his credit and eſteem in the world could not be upheld without it? that the Intereſt of that party with whom he ſided conſiſted therein? that he had Majors, Collonels, Knights, Ladies, to ſtand by him; if he account theſe 116H7v 114116 theſe vaine and fooliſh pleas, now, why ſhould hee? how dared he act upon ſuch grounds now? His only way therefore will be to repent of this his wickedneſſe, and pray God, if perhaps the thoughts of his heart may be forgiven him; which will be more to his honour, then by Printing any more angry bookes againſt two weake women (who are not able to ſpeake for themſelves in Print (neither is it required) ſo well as men, (eſpecially Schollers) to withold the truth in unrighteouſneſs, to oppreſſe the Innocent, and to cover his own Sin, which whoſoever doth, ſhall not proſper, the mouth of the Lord hath ſpoken it.